Thakur, Sundar lead fightback to bring India back in game

Sports Sunday 17/January/2021 14:53 PM
Thakur, Sundar lead fightback to bring India back in game

Brisbane: The record-breaking partnership between Shardul Thakur and Washington Sundar pulled India back in the contest on day three of the fourth Test against Australia at The Gabba on Sunday.  

At stumps, Australia were at 21/0 in their second innings. The hosts are leading by 54 runs. David Warner is unbeaten on 20 runs while Marcus Harris is not out on one run. India were bundled out for 336, falling 33 runs short of the hosts' first-innings total. Thakur top-scored for India as he made 67 runs while Sundar accumulated 62 runs.

Thakur and Sundar's 123-run resilient partnership enabled visitors to reach the 300-run mark after losing six wickets under 190 runs in the first innings.

Meanwhile, both the batters completed their half-centuries. The duo also registered the highest seventh-wicket partnership for India at The Gabba, Brisbane. Thakur and Sundar broke Kapil Dev and Manoj Prabhakar's 58-run partnership record for the seventh-wicket set in 1991.

The partnership was finally broke by pacer Pat Cummins as he sent Thakur (67) back to the hut in the final session of the game. His knock was studded with two sixes and nine fours off 115 balls.

Navdeep Saini, in a hurry of scoring runs quickly, was bagged by Josh Hazlewood after scoring five runs.

Sundar, who became the highest scorer at number seven as a debutant, held the one end strong until pacer Mitchell Starc got rid of him to reduce the visitors at 328/9. The debutant amassed 62 runs studded with six and seven fours. The visiting team was finally bowled out for 336.

For Australia, Hazlewood returned with the figures of 5-57 while Starc and Cummins scalped two wickets each.

Shardul and Sundar joined forces at the crease when India was in a spot of bother at 186/6 and the visitors were looking to avoid being bundled out in a hurry.

The duo mixed caution with aggression and both batsmen were up to the task of capitalising on the loose balls. Sundar and Shardul also faced seven overs with the second new ball, and both batsmen have remained unfazed.

At the tea break, India's score read 253/6. The second session saw 92 runs being scored from 27 overs. Resuming the second session at 161/4, India got off to a bad start as Mayank Agarwal (38) lost his wicket to Josh Hazlewood in just the first over of the session and the visitors were given a major blow. Sundar then joined Rishabh Pant in the middle and the duo put together a brief stand of 25 runs.

Hazlewood once again rose to the occasion for Australia as he dismissed Pant (23), leaving India in a spot of bother at 186/6. Shardul Thakur then joined Sundar in the middle and the duo scored runs at a brisk pace for the visitors.

Earlier, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane lost their wickets in the first session on day three as Australia gained an upper hand against India. At the lunch break, India's score read 161/4. The first session saw 99 runs being scored from 34 overs.

On the second day, India had bundled out Australia for 369 as Thakur, T Natarajan, and Sundar scalped three wickets each. Marnus Labuschagne had top-scored for Australia as he played a knock of 108 runs.

Brief Scores: Australia 369 and 21/0 (David Warner 20*, Marcus Harris 1*) vs India 336 (Shardul Thakur 67, Washinton Sundar 62; Josh Hazlewood 5-57).