Unlikely heroes Sundar, Thakur drag India back into 4th Test v Aussies

India's Shardul Thakur celebrates 50 runs with teammate Washington Sundar against Australia.

India’s Shardul Thakur celebrates 50 runs with teammate Washington Sundar towards Australia.

(Chris Hyde – CA/Cricket Australia through Getty Picture

A pair of unlikely third-day batting heroes Sunday gave India a combating probability of securing the draw they want within the fourth Take a look at towards Australia to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur, in simply his second Take a look at, placed on 123 runs for the seventh wicket – a document for India on the Gabba – taking their crew from a precarious 186 for seven to 309 earlier than Thakur was bowled by Pat Cummins for an entertaining 67.

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All-rounder Sundar, on debut, batted effectively with the tail till he guided a Mitchell Starc quick ball to Cameron Inexperienced within the gully to fall for 62.

By the point Mohammad Siraj was bowled by Josh Hazlewood, giving him figures of 5-57, India had reached 336, solely 33 runs behind Australia’s first innings whole of 369.

Australian openers Marcus Harris and David Warner survived six testing overs as Australia completed the third day on 21 with out loss, a lead of 54 runs with all 10 second innings wickets intact.

With out Sundar and Thakur, India would have been in far higher bother towards an Australia aspect who should win the match to regain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with the four-match sequence locked at 1-1.

The 2 smashed the earlier seventh-wicket document for India on the Gabba of 58, set by Kapil Dev and Manoj Prabhakar in 1991.

Thakur stated he used some phrases coach Ravi Shastri stated to him earlier than he performed a match within the ODI sequence as inspiration.

“He stated for those who carry out on this one at this time you may be rewarded and folks will love you in your efficiency — that one factor was on my thoughts,” he stated.

“That was my greatest optimistic and maintaining these issues in my thoughts, I simply saved enjoying.”

Thakur stated he and Sundar labored effectively with one another to ensure they saved their focus.

“If somebody was dropping focus or enjoying a free shot we might instantly come collectively and say let’s get again to regular and play the fundamentals,” he stated.

Against this, India’s top-order batsmen all squandered possibilities to attain closely, with all however Shubman Gill getting begins however all besides Cheteshwar Pujara falling to rash photographs.

The guests started the prolonged morning session on 62 for 2, with Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane on the crease.

Each males seemed to maintain the scoreboard ticking over, in distinction to Saturday afternoon, the place they had been extra intent on survival.

They noticed off Starc and Cummins however Hazlewood was launched into the assault and produced an excellent over which led to Pujara’s downfall.

Hazlewood had Pujara in bother when a brief ball adopted him as he tried to evade it, the ball hitting his glove and falling simply in need of Cameron Inexperienced within the gully.

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However two deliveries later Hazlewood bought a ball to angle in, then straighten barely to catch the surface fringe of Pujara’s bat and Australia’s captain and wicketkeeper Tim Paine took a routine catch.

Rahane and Mayank Agarwal steadied the ship however with the lunch break in sight, Rahane could not resist enjoying at a large ball from left-arm paceman Starc angling throughout his physique and edged a cushty catch to Matthew Wade at fourth slip.

The Indian captain, on 37, threw his head again in disgust on the method of his dismissal earlier than trudging off.

The Indians started the second session at 161 for 4 with the harmful Agarwal and Rishabh Pant on the crease.

Nevertheless, like Rahane, each Agarwal and Pant fell to injudicious photographs.

Agarwal slashed at a large supply from Cummins’ second ball after the resumption to fall for 38, caught at second slip by Steve Smith.

Then to compound India’s issues, Pant did the identical to Hazlewood, solely to be caught within the gully by Inexperienced for 23.

At that stage Australia had been answerable for the Take a look at however Sundar, enjoying his first Take a look at, and Thakur, in his second, had different concepts and defied the bowling assault with a mix of stable defence and engaging stroke making.

Hazlewood conceded Australia may have achieved higher throughout their partnership.

“We most likely did not execute in addition to we may have throughout that interval,” he stated.

“We created a couple of half possibilities and on every other day we take these.

“However credit score to these two guys, they batted superbly.”

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