Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur turned unlikely saviours after three soft dismissals as India reached 253 for six at tea on the third day of the fourth Test against Australia in Brisbane on Sunday. At Tea on day 3, Sundar – 38* – and Thakur 33* – stitched a crucial stand of 67 that did not allow Australia to run away with the game after Josh Hazlewood sliced through India’s middle-order with the wickets of Mayank Agarwal and Rishabh Pant at the start of the second session. Battling a strong Australian bowling unit, Sundar-Thakur registered the highest seventh-wicket partnership for India at The Gabba. The duo broke Kapil Dev and Manoj Prabhakar’s 30-year-old record at the venue, who had added 58 runs for the seventh wicket in 1991.

Shardul and Sundar joined forces at the crease when India was in a spot of bother at 186/6 and the visitors were looking to avoid being bundled out in a hurry. The duo mixed caution with aggression and both batsmen were up to the task of capitalising on the loose balls.

Sundar and Shardul also faced seven overs with the second new ball, and both batsmen have remained unfazed. At the tea break, India’s score reads 253/6 and the visitors are still trailing by 116 runs.

Sundar and Thakur are currently unbeaten on 38 and 33 respectively. The second session saw 92 runs being scored from 27 overs.

Resuming the second session at 161/4, India got off to a bad start as Mayank Agarwal – 38 – lost his wicket to Josh Hazlewood in just the first over of the session and the visitors were given a major blow. Sundar then joined Rishabh Pant in the middle and the duo put together a brief stand of 25 runs.

Hazlewood once again rose to the occasion for Australia as he dismissed Pant (23), leaving India in a spot of bother at 186/6. Shardul then joined Sundar in the middle and the duo scored runs at a brisk pace for the visitors.

Earlier, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane lost their wickets in the first session on day three as Australia gained an upper hand against India. At the lunch break, India’s score read 161/4. T

he first session saw 99 runs being scored from 34 overs. On the second day, India had bundled out Australia for 369 as Thakur, T Natarajan, and Sundar scalped three wickets each. Marnus Labuschagne had top-scored for Australia as he played a knock of 108 runs.

After bundling out Australia for 369, Rohit Sharma went on to score 44 runs, but in the end, he ended up gifting his wicket to Nathan Lyon.