4th Test: Australia face uphill battle in second innings after truncated day
Ian Gould and Virat Kohli walk off the SCG at tea. © AFP

Australia‘s openers safely negotiated four overs of their second innings before bad light sent both teams off the field six minutes before the scheduled tea interval on day four at the Sydney Cricket Ground, and there was no further play as the gloom set in for a long haul. That, coupled with the entire morning session washed out, meant that just 25.2 overs were bowled on Sunday.

In that time, Australia were bowled out for 300, with Kuldeep Yadav claiming five wickets in his first match of the series, and forced to follow on for the first time in a home Test since 1988 – when England had the chance at the SCG – then reached six without loss during a truncated afternoon to trail India by 316 runs. Usman Khawaja is 4 off 12 balls and Marcus Harris 2 from 12.

Some determined fans hung around the murkiness with their mobile phones illuminated, which proved the only highlight of an evening passage spent looking at the skies and the match officials in desperation and bewilderment. The umpires took an inspection at 5:15pm local time, and less than ten minutes later decided to call stumps. Play on Monday will resume half an hour early, with 98 overs to be bowled. (AS IT HAPPENED: INDIA vs AUSTRALIA, DAY FOUR)

Prolonged and steady rain prevented any play in the morning, and then under slate grey skies and with the floodlights on, India wrapped up Australia’s innings in 104.5 overs to claim a lead of 322 and enforce the follow-on. It took Mohammed Shami three balls into the resumption to strike, as Pat Cummins was bowled by a ball that kept low ad hit off stump. From the other end, Jasprit Bumrah cranked up terrific speeds while varying his lengths to have the batsmen hurrying to either jam their bats down or duck out of the way. As with Cummins, an edgy Peter Handscomb was done in one that kept low, but the difference was that Bumrah’s success was not that delivery, but the ones that led up to it.

After two bouncers that had Handscomb wary, Bumrah pitched on further up and got it to jag back into the batsman who was late to play at it and was trapped lbw. Handscomb’s 37 from 111 deliveries is the second best score of Australia’s innings; only Marcus Harris faced more balls.

Kuldeep Yadav claimed 5/99 as Australia were all out for 300
Kuldeep Yadav claimed 5/99 as Australia were all out for 300. © Getty

In the next over, the wrist-spinner Kuldeep won an lbw shout when Nathan Lyon missed a full toss. Kuldeep was denied a fifth wicket when Hanuma Vihari dropped a catch at mid-on when Mitchell Starc mistimed a big swipe across the stumps.

Starc used the reprieve from Vihari to add 15 runs to his account as the last pair batted 14 overs to keep India searching for the last wicket. Josh Hazlewood blocked sturdily, chipped deliveries over the infield and when Kuldeep and Jadeja landed them in his zone, confidently cleared his leg to smack down the ground.

One such shot prompted Kohli to remove Jadeja and go back to Shami. Hazlewood copped a short ball on the arm guard, and was in the next over given lbw when he missed a wrong one from Kuldeep. Hazlewood reviewed, but the original decision stayed to give Kuldeep 5/99 in 31.5 overs.

Stumps: Australia 300 & 6/0 trail India 622/7 declared by 316 runs.