On the Day 3 of the final Test, India got new heroes in Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur who revive their chances in the game with scintillating half-centuries. Debutant Sundar and Thakur took responsibilities on their shoulder after the underwhelming show from middle-order to take Team India into a challenging position in the game. India posted 336 runs in the first innings in reply to Australia’s 369. Also Read - 'Unlucky' Washington Sundar Misses Maiden Test Century, Stranded on 96 as India All Out For 365
The duo shared an outstanding 123-run partnership for the seventh against a high-quality Australia bowling attack comprising Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon. Also Read - MATCH HIGHLIGHTS IND vs ENG 4th Test, Day 3: Ashwin, Axar Share 10 Wickets as India Crush England to Enter WTC Final
Washington (62) and Shardul (67) played with a lot of guts and showed resilience to put up a solid show against host attack. The duo doesn’t waste any opportunity to attack the loose deliveries. Also Read - David Warner Admits Rushing Injury Return For India Test Series Was a Mistake
“We knew their bowlers were tiring out a bit so it was a matter of hanging in there for one hour. We knew we probably would be on top if we hung in,” said Shardul at the post-play press conference.
This was largely due to the fight put up by Washington and Shardul who played their strokes without worrying about the end result, frustrating the high-quality Australian attack with their carefree approach.
Earlier, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane started the Day 3 for India. Unfortunately, Josh Hazlewood broke the crucial stand by sending Pujara back to pavilion with an unplayable delivery in the second over of the day.
While Rahane (37) displayed some grit before playing a poor shot at the stroke of lunch. Mayank Agarwal (38) and Rishabh Pant (23) played cautiously in the second session. While, Hazlewood lured Mayank Agarwal into a loose drive for Steve Smith to complete a catch at second slip on the rebound. The premier Aussie pacer later dismissed Sydney’s hero – Pant.
Hazlewood finished with a well-deserved 5/57 for Australia, a reward for consistently bowling with an impeccable line and length at a brisk pace.
The spin allrounder survived for 144 deliveries in which he slammed seven boundaries and a maximum. While Shardul, who opened his scoring with a magnificent six played 115 balls for 67 runs which was laced by 9 fours and 2 sixes.
Meanwhile, Australia openers played in contrasting fashion to each other as David Warner played some cracking shots in his brief unbeaten 20-run knock while Marcus Harris decided to go defensive and stood by his partner at stumps by scoring just 1 run. At stumps, Australia were 21/0 extending the home team’s lead to 54.