India vs Australia 4th Test Sydney, HIGHLIGHTS: Indian cricket got its new seminal moment after talismanic Virat Kohli led the country to a maiden series victory on Australian soil, ending a 71-year wait to script a golden chapter in the game’s history. The fourth and final Test match at the SCG petered to a barren draw due to inclement weather but not before providing India with a 2-1 series win and the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. It is a rare first Down Under for India since Lala Amarnath’s side visited the country back in 1947-48 months after independence to face Sir Don Bradman’s ‘Invincibles’. “Firstly, I want to say I’ve never been more proud of being part of a team, than this one right here. The culture we’ve built… our transition began right here, where I took over as captain, and I can’t believe that after four years we’ve won here. Just one word to say, ‘proud’, to lead this team and it’s an honour and privilege. The boys make the captain look good,” an elated skipper Virat Kohli said after the mission was accomplished.
HIGHLIGHTS, INDIA vs AUSTRALIA 4th Test, Day 5 at SCG
09.35 IST: VICTORY PHOTOGRAPH!
09.20 IST: Even in the bowling department, the Indians were much more dogged in their approach and did not let the hosts off the hook. The pace troika of Bumrah, Shami and Ishant worked relentlessly and played a massive role in the absence of Ashwin post the Adelaide Test. Lyon and to an extent, Cummins were brilliant but Hazlewood and Starc were a mere shadow of themselves on this tour. The fielding was also good at most parts during the series from both teams. What stood out glaringly though was the instinctive captaincy of Virat Kohli. Make no mistake, Paine was inspirational and did the best with the resources at his disposal but Kohli was one step ahead, forcing the things he wanted with constant changes to the field and bowling, especially in the final two Tests. All of these small factors added up to help India reach this monumental, never seen before success in Australian soil.
Thus all in all, what started off as a competitive series in Adelaide with the hosts fighting till the end and losing, then coming back in Perth to square the series 1-1, just turned out too easy in the end for India. It felt like Australia ran out of steam mid-way and the visitors took full toll of it. Melbourne was a thrashing of sorts and Sydney could have been worse if not for the weather coming to the hosts’ rescue. In the end, a 2-1 result that could have been easily 3-1. The scoreline won’t matter as much to the Indians as the fact that they won their first Test series Down Under and retained the Border-Gavaskar trophy in style. Stay tuned for the final presentation of the Test series.
09.15 IST: History created @ SCG!
09.12 IST: If one goes to see, throughout the series, India has been considerably better at all 3 aspects. The fact that Pujara alone had 3 centuries and the Aussies had none underlines their inability to play long knocks which was the need of the hour. India declared their last three innings of the tour whereas Australia found it difficult to bat big with 326 being their highest team score of the series. The Indian openers who started off the tour, KL Rahul and Murali Vijay were both dropped after a poor string of scores. Mayank Agarwal who came in as a replacement to Prithvi Shaw took his place in the playing XI and played really well in the 2 games he got. Rishabh Pant outscoring Virat Kohli in the series really tells us a lot too. As for the Aussies, Marcus Harris and Travis Head were the two batsmen who really tried their best and it still wasn’t good enough. Sometimes it felt that the runs they made were mostly from contributions by the lower order. Pat Cummins was a genuine all-rounder as he did well with both bat and ball, giving it everything.
09.07 IST: 71 years! And finally India have their first Test series win ever in Australia. Kohli and his boys have re-written history out here, over the last one and a half month. Quite an anti-climatic end to what has been an entertaining series! This game ends in a draw, a rather damp squib but the series has been anything but that. The visitors went 1-0 up at Adelaide, while the hosts roared back at Perth to make it 1-1, but then began India’s dominance. They won at Melbourne and made it 2-1 and have been relentless ever since. Even at Sydney, they were well-ahead before rain ruined any chance of a result. What a proud and historic moment for Indian cricket!
09.00 IST: CALLED OFF! The game has officially been ended by the captains, officials after consultation with the ground staff. The Sydney match ends in a draw but INDIA WIN THE BORDER-GAVASKAR TROPHY 2-1!!!
08.35 IST: Nothing new to update. But we might get the final verdict any time soon. There will be an inspection at 1430 local and it could be called off. Stay tuned for more updates.
08.30 IST: ANOTHER UPDATE ON INSPECTION!
07.40 IST: The rain has not stopped. There will be another delay post Lunch. India in my opinion, will be already planning the celebrations in the dressing room.
07.30 IST: Tim Paine in an interview earlier this morning with Mark Howard. He felt that it is a great opportunity to get some batting on Day 5 if the weather clears out. Reckons that it was a really good series and even though they were outplayed, he felt they fought pretty hard and will take the positives ahead, is proud of the way they gave their all. Mentions that India is a really tough team to beat right now, no. 1 in the world and a couple of guys really were in form and took the series away. Also adds that he enjoys captaincy and takes it as a challenge and the jobs that come along with it. Feels it really doesn’t make a difference captaining from behind the wicket and is all the same. Says that he always wants to be a 100 percent ready and concentrated when he walks out to bat and hence, is going to hit the nets for some practice even as the rain delays play. Signs off by saying that he might take a bit of rest post the Test series and decide about turning up for Hobart as he intends to remain fit for the Sri Lanka series coming up.
06.51 IST: It is officially Lunch time on Day 5. A very light drizzle is still on!
06.30 IST: The first session has been washed out. Lunch will be taken at 12:30 local with a view to start at 1:10 pm provided this irritating rain stops. Else, it could well be curtains down on the series
05.51 IST: The fresh images coming from the ground is not looking promising at all. Both teams won’t be too bothered currently. India have the trophy and Australia doesn’t have to come out to grind and avoid another Test loss. Should make peace with 2-1. Let’s see whether we get any action in this morning session or not. Stay with us.
05.25 IST: Game definer of sorts going unnoticed probably. Rishabh pant – scored in each innings. 25, 28, 36, 30, 39, 33 & 159*. Total – 350 in 7 innings + 20 catches in the series.
05.10 IST: Bad news, folks. The rain has picked up its intensity and it’s pelting down at the SCG.
04.56 IST: And it continues to rain at SCG!
04.51 IST: No Intent from the Aussies!
04.40 IST: The drizzle continues to fall at the SCG, but the Indians didn’t mind it as they posed for the official team photographs. A proud Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli beaming, in a few hours, they would have done what no other Indian teams of yore could do – win a Test series in Australia.
04.35 IST: Start of play on day 5 has been delayed.
04.30 IST: Sad news for cricket fans!
04.20 IST: Today is not about winning and losing anymore. History will be written today by the Indians, that is a given. For the Aussies, it is about resolve and steel. Can they come out today one last time and show what they are made of? Could happen! Their cause could also be helped by the fact that the forecast for weather is not looking too promising. It is currently gloomy around the stadium with clouds hovering around. The rain has stayed away but the light is still not so promising. Oh well, just as I type this, a little drizzle has also started and the pitch is being covered. After a good Test series, this kind of end would not be wanted by a cricketing fan. Let’s hope for the weather to clear and the game to get going on Day 5.
04.10 IST: Coming to the cricket on hand, Australia trail the visitors by 316 runs in their second dig, following-on. Forget the runs, they just have to bat for whatever amount of overs India hurl at them today to salvage a draw and bring some respect to the scoreline. No David Warner, no Steven Smith but still this kind of a result is unacceptable to any Australian team. That says a lot about how well India has played throughout the series. Their ability to pick wickets at frequent intervals has really helped them bog the hosts’ batting down. Someone or the other has stepped up in virtually every innings and it has been a collective bowling effort from India that has derailed the Aussie bandwagon. So much so, Jasprit Bumrah is the joint-highest wicket-taker in the series along with Nathan Lyon with 21 wickets so far and has a chance to go past him during the day’s play.
04.00 IST: Welcome to Day 5 of this magnificent Pink Test at the SCG, also to the last day of action in whites between these two sides in India’s tour Down Under. 2-1 and that could be the final scoreline as there is no time left for the Aussies to do anything about this game. The only variable would be 3-1 if India do manage to bowl out the hosts today. That seems far-fetched considering what we went through yesterday and the amount of cricket we got to see. But one thing is for sure, Kohli’s boys will be creating history by winning their first ever Test series in Australia since their sojourns started 71 years back.
Brief Preview: Erratic weather on day four intervened India from closing in on a big win in the fourth Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground. They were well on course for their maiden series victory on Australian soil after forcing the hosts to follow-on at home for the first time since 1988. Bad light and intermitted rain led to substantial loss of play with only 25.2 overs bowled on day four. Australia were placed at 6/0 in 4 overs after Kuldeep Yadav’s five-wicket haul in his maiden Test Down Under helped India to bundle out the hosts for 300 in the first innings.
Umpires took players off the field with eight minutes remaining in the belated afternoon session. Marcus Harris (2) and Usman Khawaja (4) were the unbeaten batsmen with Australia still trailing by 316 runs. But the play didn’t resume at all once the scheduled tea break was over, as bad light hampered proceedings once again. The umpires waited for nearly an hour, coming out for inspection in between, before making a decision at 5 pm local time. (IND vs AUS, 4th Test: Read Full Day 4 Report Here)