4th Test: India need 87 runs to beat Australia

Ravindra Jadeja celebrates the wicket of Australia's Shaun Marsh during the third day of the fourth Test between India and Australia at Dharamsala. Photograph:( AFP )

AFP Dharamsala Mar 27, 2017, 11.03 AM (IST)

Indian bowlers Umesh Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin led from the front to take three wickets apiece on the third day to put the hosts on top against Australia in the final Test at Dharamsala. Indian bowlers kept a tight line and attacked the Australian batsmen as the visitors folded for a paltry 137 all out, setting the hosts a 106-run target to win the Test on the fourth day tomorrow.

India ended their day at 19/0, needing another 87 runs to win with openers Murali Vijay and KL Rahul still at the crease.

Earlier, India's pace bowlers Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar gave India a sensational start, removing three of Australia's top-order batsmen including skipper Steve Smith inside the first 10 overs.

The top-ranked spin duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin then picked up a wicket apiece to have the visitors on the ropes.

At tea, the visitors were 92-5 in their second innings, leading India by only 60 runs with five wickets in hand. It was Bhuvneshwar Kumar who sent Smith (17) packing with a short ball to the bottom edge of the bat that crashed into the stumps in spectacular fashion. 

Smith amassed 499 runs including three centuries from the four Tests, only the sixth visiting batsman to hit so many hundreds in a series in India. India got the first breakthrough when Yadav had David Warner caught behind cheaply for six, just after the opener was dropped in the slips by the butter-fingered Karun Nair.

Nair dropped the same batsman in the first innings as well. Warner ended the four-Test series with an average of 24.12 -- his lowest in a series of four or more matches, and his third lowest overall.

The Indian fast bowlers exploited the pace and bounce in the wicket to trouble the batsmen relentlessly.


Umesh Yadav celebrates the wicket of Australia's Matthew Renshaw during the third day of the fourth and last Test cricket match between India and Australia at Dharamsala (AFP)


Yadav also accounted for Matt Renshaw before Glenn Maxwell (37 not out) put on 56 runs for the fourth wicket with Peter Handscomb to steady the innings briefly. Handscomb was brilliantly caught by India's stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane off Ashwin while Jadeja dismissed Shaun Marsh for one.

Jadeja had starred with the bat as well, top-scoring with 63 to help India post 332 in reply to Australia's 300.

With the series tied 1-1, India must win the match if they are to regain the Border-Gavaskar trophy from Australia, who triumphed at home in 2014-15.

(WION with AFP input)