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The Indian batsmen face the challenge of batting out 98 overs safely to ensure a draw on the final day of the opening Test at Adelaide tomorrow. As things stand by at the close of day four, Australia are sure to declare their second innings having piled up an overall lead of 363. This was after bowling out India for 444 and then posting 290 for 5 in their second innings on the penultimate day.
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA – DECEMBER 12: Nathan Lyon of Australia celebrates after taking his fifth wicket, the wicket of Ishant Sharma of India during day four of the First Test match between Australia and India at the Adelaide Oval on December 12, 2014 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
Resuming Day 4 at 369 for 5, India could add only 75 more runs before they were bowled out. The tourists put up an impressive total of 444 to bring down the first innings deficit down to 73 runs. However they could have done far better than that. Australia got its opening when Rohit Sharma gave a caught and bowled opportunity to the diving Nathan Lyon after leaving the crease for a flick. Rohit Sharma got out for 43 (from 89 balls with 5 fours) leaving India at 399 for 6.
After Rohit Sharma’s exit, Australia ran through the rest of the batting. Debutant Karn Sharma played all around a full ball to get bowled by Peter Siddle for 4. Wriddhiman Saha who batted beautifully to score 25 (from 68 balls) was unlucky to be given caught at slip off Nathan Lyon when the ball had missed the inside edge and flew only off the pad. Ishant Sharma was caught bat pad at shortleg to a jumping off break from Nathan Lyon. In between the collapse, Mohammed Shami with his slogging mode scored 34 precious runs in 24 balls with three fours and a six. He was the last man out caught by the diving Shane Watson at slip trying a heave off Peter Siddle.
Australia took 116.4 overs to bowl out India which was quite a lot of hard work. India scored their runs at a brisk rate of 3.80 to ensure that they got closer to the Australian total without much pressure. For the Aussies, Nathan Lyon bowled beautifully to take 5 for 134 in 36 overs which was his 6th five-wicket haul.
In their second innings, Australia expected to race away to a big lead were strangled because of the slowing pitch and a better bowling show from India. In the 13th over, Karn Sharma got Chris Rogers out, caught dragging a slog sweep to mid wicket for a 45-ball 21. Australia had only 38 on the board at that stage and had to play watchfully against the spinners Karn Sharma and Murali Vijay. Virat Kohli lost the plot though by making far too many bowling changes which affected the rhythm of Karn Sharma in particular. The Indian Captain also did the big mistake of not trying out Varun Aaron early on and it was only towards the end of the afternoon session that the speedster was brought in.
Varun Aaron brought plenty of life in the Test match by bowling at speeds of 148 kmph and getting his full length deliveries to reverse swing both ways. The aggressive Varun Aaron cleaned up David Warner with the left hander missing a rash slog. However, it turned out to be a no-ball and Warner was called back to bat. The Australian opener returned back mocking Varun Aaron but that was only a reaction to the send off he got from the pacer. Things got heated up like anything following this incident and that was going to set the trend for the rest of the day’s play.
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA – DECEMBER 12: David Warner of Australia and Virat Kohli of India exchange words as Wriddhiman Saha and Shikhar Dhawan of India and Steven Smith of Australia look on during day four of the First Test match between Australia and India at the Adelaide Oval on December 12, 2014 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
After Tea, Kohli had both Aaron and Shami operating. That produced the wicket of Shane Watson (33 from 86 balls with 4 fours and a six) who was bowled through the gate by Mohammed Shami in an attempted drive on the up. Varun Aaron got his well deserved wicket when he forced Michael Clarke to top edge his cut shot to the keeper for 7 in the 46th over. Australia had to slow down after this at 168 for 3.
David Warner thanks to that no-ball from Varun Aaron went on to record a century in each innings of a Test match for a second time in his career. Not one Indian player was seen applauding his efforts. Warner eventually got out in the 60th over clean bowled trying a switch hit off a full ball from Karn Sharma. Warner got out for 102 which came in 166 balls with 11 fours and a six.
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA – DECEMBER 12: Virat Kohli of India has words with umpire Ian Gould after Steve Smith of Australia pads away another ball from Rohit Sharma during day four of the First Test match between Australia and India at Adelaide Oval on December 12, 2014 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)
Australia got enough runs on the board by the finish time thanks to a brilliant cameo of 40 from 26 balls with 4 fours and 3 sixes by Mitchell Marsh. At the other end, Steven Smith helped himself to a busy 52 not out from 64 balls with 5 fours. By stumps, Australia scored 290 for 5 in 69 overs with a run rate of 4.20.
Above photo: ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA – DECEMBER 12: Candice Falzon, Australian Professional Ironwoman and fiancee of David Warner of Australia celebrates with their daughter Ivy Mae as David Warner of Australia reaches his century during day four of the First Test match between Australia and India at the Adelaide Oval on December 12, 2014 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)