Recent Match Report – Australia vs India 3rd Test 2020
Join us for updates, analysis and colour from the fourth day of the Sydney Test
Welcome to our live report of the fifth day of the Australia-India Test from Sydney. Join us for updates, analysis and colour. You can find our traditional ball-by-ball commentary here
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Can someone quantify for me how unlucky Lyon has been today?
12pm local time/6.30am IST: Lyon to Pant – Part II
Lyon has had a change of ends, and Pant started this spell of Lyon by facing a maiden before fearlessly cracking two consecutive sixes down the ground despite Lyon having a long-off and long-on in place. And luck is on his side too. Soon after getting to his fifty off 64 balls, Pant gets another life that looks just like the first one. He pokes outside off against Lyon and Paine can’t hold on again. So Pant dropped on 3 and 56 today. And here’s Gnasher on the bigger picture with half an hour left for lunch:
Still 20 overs until the new ball, Australia will want something to happen with the old one and for catches to be held. This pitch hasn’t quite gone the way it looked it might. The bounce has remained pretty true today. As Justin Langer mentioned last night there is spin, but it’s quite slow so the batsmen have time to adjust although Nathan Lyon has created a couple of chances that haven’t been taken. Tim Paine won’t be nervous yet, 230 is a lot of runs, but they do have fairly recent history of not being able to defend a large fourth-innings total. However, for that notion to even be a faint chance Rishabh Pant will have to bat for most of the day. He’s one of the few who have been able to score freely on this surface. Meanwhile, Paine is going through plenty of options include Marnus Labuschagne and Cameron Green, plus a frequent change of ends for Lyon.
Sid Monga is also keeping an eye on how lucky India have been this innings:
Ninety-two wickets have fallen this series. On 798 occasions the batsmen have not been in control of the response to a delivery. That is a high rate of a wicket every nine not-in-control responses or so. In this innings, though, India have lost just three wickets despite not being in control 64 times. India have enjoyed a bit of luck in this innings, but they will just as quickly turn around and tell you they lost their whole side in 31 not-in-control responses in Adelaide so they are owed some luck.
11.20am local time/5.50am IST: Pant takes on Lyon
Rishabh Pant, batting at No. 5 for the first time in his Test career and with an injured elbow, has decided to take on one of the best spinners in the world. The duel started with Lyon inducing an outside edge off Pant’s bat early when he was on 3, but it was a tough catch for the wicketkeeper Tim Paine. And after taking his time to score 5 off 33 balls, Pant has started charging down against Lyon. With mid-on in the circle, Pant started with a loft over mid-on for four, and followed it with a six to the long-on region the very next ball. In his next over, Lyon pitched the third ball a bit too short, perhaps expecting Pant to step out, and Pant cut him for four. Next ball, Pant stepped out again and didn’t quite middle it but found the straight boundary for another four. Lyon’s last two overs have gone for 21 runs, and Paine has changed tactics to bring on Labuschagne’s legspin in place of Lyon.
Lyon to Pant until the first drinks break: 30 balls, 22 runs, strike rate 73.33, three fours and a six.
10.20am local time/4.50am IST: Lyon gets his first, Pant promoted
After toiling and toiling under the sun for 40 overs across the two innings, almost getting a wicket or two at short leg in the first innings, Lyon has a wicket and the big one of Ajinkya Rahane, with a sharp catch at short leg taken by none other than Matthew Wade who just couldn’t get to those chances when India batted first. Cheteshwar Pujara started the over by coming down on the first two balls and collecting three runs. Rahane then took strike and got a thick edge to thee fielder. And hello! Rishabh Pant has come out to bat ahead of Hanuma Vihari at No. 5. Let’s see what approach he takes here. Sid Monga chimes in on the situation:
Amid the whole debate around Pujara’s tempo in the first innings, I am sure you wondered where the team management stood on the topic. In the second innings, the team management might just have replied by promoting Rishabh Pant ahead of Hanuma Vihari to split Pujara and Vihari, who can both end up playing at the same tempo. This is a good move when the ball is around 50-60 overs old. Not so sure what purpose it serves in this innings, but the message seems to be: yes, the tempo might be an issue, and we are looking to do something about it with the limited resources we have. Also this is what R Ashwin had to say about Pant’s injury situation:
“The bruise was quite severe and it was quite painful. The elbow can be a very tricky place to deal with.”
In another development, we have confirmation that the final Test at the Gabba will go ahead after India confirmed they would travel to Brisbane, Gnasher reports. All the details here.
9.50am local time/4.20am IST: Eight wickets. 309 runs
Welcome back for the last day of the fourth Test that may very well see a result today. The hosts are obviously on top because of their full-strength and excellent attack, their local conditions, the depleted India batting line-up (without Kohli and two injured batsmen), and the pressure of batting last on a worn out pitch to save the game. If India manage to draw this, it will surely be counted as a historic effort. Gnasher, who is a bit more awake than me, says:
So what does today have in prospect? A comfortable Australia win? India defiance that falls short? The visitors save the match? Or…surely not 308 runs? You do feel that if the overnight pair are separated early things could finish fairly quickly. Rishabh Pant is carrying an elbow injury, but he is expected to bat, while Ravindra Jadeja has a dislocated thumb and may only bat if the match situation makes it worthwhile. It will be interesting to see the tactics Australia use with the ball today. They will be hoping for some reverse swing, but there could also be some uneven bounce. There’s no great pace, so bowling straight and aiming for bowled and lbws could be on the agenda. Could be a day for catches in front of the wicket rather than in the slips. Nathan Lyon has had a quiet series so far. These are conditions look ripe for him. He still needs six wickets for 400.
Vishal Dikshit is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo