Best and worst from Day 4 of Melbourne Test
Rishabh Pant's six off Pat Cummins even amused Virat Kohli. (AFP Image)

The best and the worst from day four of the third Test between Australia and India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Shot of the day

Five sixes were hit on Saturday with Australia scoring four of them. However, the stroke of the day belongs to the six Rishabh Pant smoked off Josh Hazlewood of what turned out to be India’s penultimate ball of their second innings. India were on the attack, going for runs once they had extended the lead past 350, despite losing wickets. The bowler, Hazlewood, pitched one full and straight. Pant’s eyes light up at the juice half-volley and he throws the kitchen sink at it. The impact of the bat hitting the ball was so immense that the connection made a cracking sound and the ball was deposited straight on to the sightscreen. Virat Kohli’s animated reaction at that stroke told the entire story.

Ball of the Day

A total of 11 wickets fell during the fourth day, but it was Mohammed Shami’s dismissal of Usman Khawaja that stood head and shoulders above the rest. With Khawaja and Shaun Marsh trying to get Australia back on track after their openers had departed leaving the score at 36 for 2, Shami, bowling the 21st over, produced a wonderful delivery that angled away just that much. The ball pitched short of length and straightened towards the off stump. Khawaja missed the line and was hit on the back pad to be caught right in front. It wasn’t the best of spells from Shami, but he had given India their first breakthrough post lunch.

Banter of the day

Tim Paine had asked Pant to babysit his child yesterday. Well, today Pant turned the tables on the Australia skipper. Facing Jadeja, the broadcasters turned to the stump mic, expect Pant to give it back to Paine. Not surprisingly, Pant obliged, calling Paine a temporary captain. “We got a special guest today. Have you ever heard of a temporary captain, ever, Mayank?” Pant was caught speaking by the stump mic.

He did not stop there. Pant then was heard telling Jadeja, the bowler, that he does not need to do anything extra to dismiss Paine. “You don’t need anything to get him out, boy. He loves to talk, that’s the only thing he can do, boy! Only, talking, talking,” Pant added.

Stat of the day

With 19 catches, Pant has equalled Syed Kirmani and Naren Tamhane for the most number of catches taken by an India wicketkeeper in a Test series. Pant equalled the record when he hung on to the catch of Paine off the bowling of Jadeja. However, Pant has been the quickest to take these 19 scalps, grabbing them in three Tests, while Kirmani and Tamhane needed 6 and 7 matches each. With one more Test remaining, Pant is certain to add to his tally.

Resistance of the day

Yesterday he did the job with the ball. Today with the bat. Pat Cummins has time and again shown that he is better than a No. 8 batsman and Australia would be forced to take notice of it and perhaps even promote him up the order going forward. With their back against the wall, Cummins not only resisted the Indian attack but scored his second Test fifty. It took Cummins 15 overs to score his first boundary – a six down the ground off Ravindra Jadeja, and then there was a flurry of boundaries. Towards the end play, Cummins drove Ishant Sharma through covers to bring up his fifty and followed it with a picture-perfect straight drive next ball. But most importantly, Cummins ensured Australia did not give up despite the umpires giving India the extra half hour.