india-vs-aus-SCG

12:31 am: So India finish the day at 303/4. The opening day has been dominated by the tourists with Cheteshwar unbeaten on 130  – his third century of the tour and 18th overall. Giving him company is Hanuma Vihari who is batting on 39 off 58.

12:23 am: 300 up for India – the first time either of the two sides has managed during the opening day of a Test in the ongoing series. Cheteshwar Pujara unbeaten on 128 while Hanuma Vihari has played a fluent innings so far and is batting on 38 off 49.

11:57 am: Hanuma Vihari hits his second boundary through backward square region to bring up the fifty-run partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara.

11:36 am: 250 up for India. Cheteshwar Pujara continues to find boundaries. He has hit 15 of those so far. India 258/4

11:25 am: HUNDRED FOR CHETESHWAR PUJARA! His fourth of the series and 18th overall. Reaches the landmark with a boundary off Mitchell Starc. 

Brute of a delivery!

 11:13 am: OUT! And what a delivery from Mitchell Starc to dismiss Ajinkya Rahane. That was a snorter, climbs onto Rahane from nowhere and all he can do is glove it to the wicketkeeper. He scored 18. India 228/4 

10:47 am: Cheteshwar Pujara has moved to 82 with two fours in three deliveries off Nathan Lyon. He has so far faced 173 deliveries and hit 10 fours.

10:40 am: So after a long wait, India finally touch the 200-run mark. Ajinkya Rahane with a couple off Pat Cummins takes India to 200/3 in 62.1 overs

10:10 am: WICKET! That’s a big wicket for Australia right after the tea-break. Josh Hazlewood has Virat Kohli out caught behind for 23. It was angled bowled down the leg side and Kohli was trying to work it fine but ended gloving it to be caught by Tim Paine. India 180/3

9:50 am: India take tea on 177/2 after Agarwal’s spirited 77

9:41 am: TEA! Another fine session for India on Day 1. Mayank Agarwal completed his half-century and was looking good before playing one shot too many to depart on 77. Then Cheteshwar Pujara took over and completed his second fifty of the tour, striking three fours in an over of Labuschagne. Virat Kohli has looked good too, hitting three fours in his 56-ball 23. India 177/2 in 52 overs.

9:38 am: FIFTY for Cheteshwar Pujara – he has now two centuries and two fifties in the ongoing series. He has belted three fours in the first over of Marnus Labuschagne.

9:30 am: With a four off Lyon, Pujara brings up India’s 150. India 152/2 in 48 overs

 

KL Rahul is back in the nets

9:20 am: Meanwhile, Cheteshwar Pujara has gone past 1000 balls faced for the ongoing series, second time he has achieved the feat in Test cricket.

9:03 am: The Indians are happy to bide their time at the moment it seems. Pujara and Kohli in extreme Test mode now. Australia will have to fight hard to dislodge these two with little help from the surface.

8:46 am: Virat Kohli began his innings with a lovely cover drive off Josh Hazlewood for a four. India 133/2 in 37 overs

Virat in Pink mode

  8:29 am: WICKET! Agarwal, what have you done? He was in such a fine touch and he has thrown it away. After hitting Nathan Lyon for another six, Agarwal gets a little greedy after seeing another tossed up delivery. He accepts the invitation and takes the aerial route again and this time, fails to clear Starc at long-on to hole out on 77. India 126/2 in 34 overs.

8:20 am: SIX! Mayank Agarwal is growing in confidence with each passing over. He welcomes Nathan Lyon to the second session by charging forward and hitting him over his head for a six. That shot also brings up his 100-run partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara.

8:10 am: The Australians seems to have come out with a strategy to attack the batters with short deliveries. Meanwhile, Mayank Agarwal reaches his second Test fifty in three innings with a lovely boundary off Mitchell Starc. This has been a very impressive knock from the rookie as he has endured some testing spells that has seen him hopping an dodging short deliveries.

7:50 am: Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc resume the duties post lunch-break.  India have done well to recovery from the early hit and will be aiming to build on the start in this second session with the ball getting older.

7:04 am: LUNCH! So just the two overs of spin from Nathan Lyon in the morning session as India recover after an early jolt. Mayank Agarwal has looked good, hitting five fours in his unbeaten 42 off 79 while Cheteshwar Pujara has scored 16 off 59 with one four. Josh Hazlewood gave Australia an early success when he had a tentative KL Rahul edging one in the second over of the innings to be caught at the first slip on 9. Since then, India have done well to not allow the pace trio of Mitcell Starc, Hazlewood and Pat Cummins any success. They have been peppered with a barrage of short deliveries, with Agarwal and Pujara copping a blow each.  India 69/1 in 24 overs

6:57 am: Ouch! A nasty delivery from Josh Hazlewood that hits Pujara on the helmet and then neck as he takes his eyes off. The bowler approaches him to enquire if he’s ok. India physio Patrick Farhat rushes to the middle for the second time this morning.

Australians lose their review

6:20 am: Pat Cummins appeals, not convincing one but enough for his captain to ask for a review. Cummins gets the ball to nip in and Pujara is beaten. Cummins says he heard something. The snicko picks up something once the ball goes past the thigh pad. So no damage done. The not out decision is upheld. Australia lose their review.

6:12 am: A streaky boundary from Mayank Agrawal brings up India’s fifty. The final delivery of the 14th over from Mitchell Starc rose sharply taking an edge to flow over the slip cordon and roll past the boundary. India 51/1 in 14 overs

5:58 am: India were hurt early but Mayank Agarwal and Cheteshwar Pujara have carried them to 41/1 in 11 overs, settling the nerves. The Australians have been bowling well but the Indian duo has been able to negotiate them well so far.

5:40 am: The reason why both Indian and Australian players wearing black armbands

5:32 am: First bowling change of the morning – Pat Cummins to bowl his first over. Agarwal goes after a wide delivery almost gifting Cummins his wicket off the very first delivery. The India rookie does well to finish the over with a four through covers. India 30/1 in 7 overs

5:20 am: Hazlewood and Starc have bowled well so far, making the batsmen to play. Agarwal is batting on 5 as he has been joined by the leading run-getter of the series Cheteshwar Pujar who walked in early after the early dismissal of KL Rahul. India 22/1 in 5 overs

5:09 am: OUT! KL Rahul fails on return. After getting another boundary via  an edge, Rahul’s luck finally runs out as he gets a big outside edge that nestles into the hands of Shaun Marsh at first slip. Fourth time Josh Hazlewood has removed the Indian. He scored 9 off 6. India 10/1

5:05 am: A testing start from Mitchell Starc. He got the first one to shape away a bit as Mayank Agarwal opened India’s account with a leg bye. KL Rahul edged the first delivery faced and the ball flew between the slips for a four. An inside edge helped him get off the mark with a single before Starc ended the over beating Mayank.

4:58 am: We are done with the national anthems. India openers KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal are out in the middle. Mitchell Starc is ready with the new ball. Here we go….

In case you are finding it hard to pronounce Labuschagne – here’s a quick guide


04:45 am:  TOSS REPORT – India play Rahul, Kuldeep and bat at the SCG

04:35 am: Playing XIs 

India: KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah

Australia: Marcus Harris, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Tim Paine(wk/captain), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood

04:32 am: Team Changes – Two changes for India – KL Rahul returns to open the innings while left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav walks in place of Ishant Sharma. Australia have also made two changes – Peter Handscomb and Marnus Labuschagne replace Aaron Finch and Mitchell Marsh respectively.

04:31 am: Virat Kohli wins the toss and India will bat!

04:30 am: Michael Clarke, who knows the SCG pitch very well, thinks the ball will spin early on. The surface has water in it, which Clarke reckons is because of the heat in Sydney. Bat first then!

04:20am: Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the fourth Test. We’re minutes away from the toss, so stay tuned. Warm conditions in Sydney, but somewhat overcast, and there’s moisture in the pitch.

 

It all boils down to this! After 71 gruelling years, India’s battle to win a maiden series win on Australian soil gets underway when the fourth and final Test begins at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Thursday. After a thumping 137-run win in the Boxing Day Test, Virat Kohli and Co, who lead the series 2-1, are brimming with confidence as opposed to the opposition, who are still struggling to find the right balance.

It remains to be seen whether India will gamble with their line-up with Ravichandran Ashwin facing a race against time to recover from an abdominal strain he suffered during the first Test at Adelaide.

Kohli, meanwhile, is in a unique position as the only Indian captain to go into the final Test on the Australian soil with the cushion of a series lead. It all boils down to this. India have a shot at creating history, but will the hosts play spoilsport on the day. Let’s wait and watch.

4th Test, Preview coverage

Kaushik: Despite lndia’s latest eye-raising call, R Ashwin deserves time to prove fitness

Narula: Will India, on the cusp of history, gamble with their line-up?

Preview by Narula: History beckons India in Sydney as Australia struggle to strike team balance

Quotes: Paine targets long-term improvement as India series loss looms

Quotes: Virat Kohli ‘not too bothered’ about growing back concerns

Reactions: Ravichandran Ashwin’s inclusion will ease some of the burden on the quicks: VVS Laxman

Reactions: India should play Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja: Dean Jones

VIDEO: To win as a team has been the biggest challenge: Virat Kohli

VIDEO: There are no thoughts about losing this series: Tim Paine