Final Session Highlights : Australia find themselves just four wickets away from winning the Adelaide Test tomorrow and complete a 4-0 whitewash over India! The fag end of the day’s play saw the wickets of Laxman and Kohli going down to put India in a fast forward mode towards an inevitable defeat tomorrow.
The last session saw an early wicket of Rahul Dravid who for once didn’t get bowled in this series! In the 29th over Dravid went through with a free flowing drive to a pitched up delivery from Ryan Harris outside off but only to edge the late outswinger to Hussey at gully. Dravid finished the Series with another disappointing score of 25 having struggled for 71 balls. In the 32nd over, out of nowhere, Sachin Tendulkar gifted his wicket to Nathan Lyon! In a tame attempted forward defence, Sachin Tendulkar got a faint inside edge onto the pad which flew straight to shortleg to what was a slow well flighted turning and bouncing off break from Nathan Lyon.
India’s downslide was arrested by VVS Laxman and Virat Kohli for some time. Laxman was extremely lucky in his stay after he escaped from a close lbw to Peter Siddle and then was put down at second slip by Ricky Ponting. Towards the fag end of the day’s play, Laxman departed in what could be his last innings for India! It wasn't a special delivery from Lyon and Laxman went back and played a wristy flick across the line, didn't care to keep it along the ground and tamely gave catching practice to short mid wicket! Laxman made only 35 (from 88 balls with 4 fours) and could either retire or get dropped after this disastrous tour.
In the final ball of the penultimate over before the close of play, first innings centurion Virat Kohli in a desperate attempt to retain strike in the final over ran himself out! Kohli didn’t realize that it was the duty of the night watchman Ishant Sharma to see through the last over. It was a backfoot flick from Virat Kohli (22 from 62 balls with 2 fours) straight to Ben Hilfenhaus at wide mid wicket who ran him out with a nice wristy flick at the bowling end stumps. India close the fourth day’s play at 166 for 6 in 56 overs with no batting left. Only Wicket Keeper Wriddhiman Saha and the four bowlers are there for India but only to dely the inevitable defeat tomorrow.
Afternoon Session Highlights : India have already lost its openers in the 24 overs that were bowled at them by Tea on Day 4. A well set Virender Sehwag having survived on numerous occasions playing flashy shots off the pacers got dismissed in a shocking fashion just 15 minutes before Tea. India is now left with Rahul Dravid on 19* (from 58 balls) with Sachin Tendulkar (7* from 15 balls) to come up with a huge partnership to set up India for a draw, For now the two will have to bat out the 32 overs left in the final session.
India’s first casualty came in the 5th over itself when Gautam Gambhir (3) edged a good away swinger from Ryan Harris to the diving wicket keeper. Gambhir had to play at that length delivery from Harris which he did with a half stride forward but that left him late to take a nice nick to the keeper.
After Gambhir’ early fall, Virender Sehwag got a lovely partnership going with Rahul Dravid and blazed away to a 36-ball half century! However in the 20th over, Virender Sehwag (62 from 53 balls with 12 fours) threw his wicket away getting out to a lollipop from Nathan Lyon! For the second time in the match, Sehwag got out to a full toss. In this innings Sehwag stepped out and looked to heave the high full toss over mid wicket but only to get a horrible leading edge which lobbed up to Ponting at covers. The bowler Nathan Lyon was embarrassed that he had got a wicket with even such a poor delivery!
Australia declaration : Australia declared its second innings just 12 minutes after the lunch break after taking their lead to 499 runs. That leaves India with a target of 500 from a possible 146 overs. Ricky Ponting remained unbeaten on 60 from 96 balls with 5 fours while Brad Haddin got to 11* at the time of declaration with Australia at 167 for 5 in 46 overs.
Morning Session Highlights : Australia went on in their second innings past the lunch break on Day 4 taking their lead to 486 runs. At Lunch, Australia have moved to 154 for 5 in 43 overs with Ricky Ponting on 57* batting with Brad Haddin (1*).
Australia lost two wickets in the morning session while collecting 104 runs in 29 overs. Skipper Michael Clarke (37 from 43 balls with 4 fours) departed in the 29th over when he was unconvincingly given caught behind in an attempted square drive on the up off Umesh Yadav. Ishant Sharma struck in the 39th over by trapping Michael Hussey (10) lbw with a delivery that swung back around middle.
Start of Play on Day 4 : Australia who are batting again only to give a good rest for their bowlers will most probably declare their second innings leaving India with a 500 plus target. Although the Aussies are at 50 for 3, the overall lead is already a huge one at 382 runs. The pitch has also started to wear down because of the hot weather. Yesterday evening saw R Ashwin getting plenty of bite for his off breaks. There was sharp turn and bounce for him because of the footmarks created by Zaheer Khan, The odd ball is also staying low at the Adelaide Oval. The important factor for the Aussies is going to be reverse swing.
Well the Aussies will resume Day 4 with Ricky Ponting on 1* and Michael Clarke on 9*. The hosts could perhaps aim to declare their innings with about 30 minutes to go before Lunch.