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India vs Australia, 2nd Test, Day 4: Aus Bundled Out for 200; India Need 70 to Win and Level Series

Cameron Green and Pat Cummins fought hard for exactly 55 minutes on Day 4 to delay the inevitable, and the Australian tail wagged well enough till the last over of the extended first session before Ravichandran Ashwin claimed Josh Hazlewood for 10 to bundle out the hosts' for 200. India need 70 to win the second Test and level series 1-1.

India vs Australia, 2nd Test, Day 4: Aus Bundled Out for 200; India Need 70 to Win and Level Series

Cameron Green and Pat Cummins fought hard for exactly 55 minutes on Day 4 to delay the inevitable, and the Australian tail wagged well enough till the last over of the extended first session before Ravichandran Ashwin claimed Josh Hazlewood for 10 to bundle out the hosts' for 200. India need 70 to win the second Test and level series 1-1. India claimed four wickets in the session but had to toil for 37 overs in the day for it. Once the new ball was taken, it took only two overs to get the breakthrough. Jasprit Bumrah, expectedly, provided the wicket with a short-pitch delivery directed at the body that had Cummins fending off, that ended at the hands of Mayank Agarwal at second slip. India had the opening, but the impressive Green, and later Mitchell Starc frustrated India.

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That Cummins and Green played out 35.1 overs in the total - 16.5 on Day 4 - for the seventh wicket did frustrate India, but they managed to score only 57 runs not helping the team's cause, who had dug themselves a big hole at 99/6 on Day 3. Green's composure in the middle under trying circumstances is probably the only positive that Australia can take away from this year's Boxing Day Test.

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The going on Day 4, however, was relatively easy for Cummins and Green in the first hour of play. Ashwin did extract some turn and bounce, but not enough to get the close-in fielders into play. Mohammad Siraj continued his good form in his debut match, jagging back the ball into the right-handers and had a few play and misses inducing some 'uuhs' and 'aahs' from the very chirpy Rishabh Pant behind the stumps.

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Pant and Ashwin even had Rahane take a review on an LBW appeal off Cummins that was originally adjudged not out, but the on-field decision stayed. It took the duo 11 overs to take the first boundary of the day - in the first over after taking the new ball - a cut shot by Green off Ashwin. However, the next over India had the breakthrough. With Mitchell Starc in the middle, Bumrah got a few bouncers in, to trouble the tall fast bowler. Green played a couple of net shots to enhance his reputation but went for a fighting 45 off 146 balls when he failed to clear the infield with a pull shot off Mohammad Siraj and Ravindra Jadeja took a sharp catch at midwicket. Lyon and Starc then got together for seven overs before Lyon gloved one down the legside to go for 3. Lyon's wicket signaled an extended session but India failed to break the last wicket stand of Starc and Joh Hazlewood, who have so far combined to six overs. Starc survived a close LBW appeal on Umpire's call in DRS, but Ashwin knocked over Hazlewood with a carrom ball to signal the end of the Australian innings.

Earlier, India enjoyed their best day of the Test series so far on Day 3 to reduce Australia to 99/6 after posting 326 in their first innings, taking a lead of 131, riding on a captain's knock from Rahane - 112 off 223 balls - and Ravindra Jadeja's 57 off 159 balls. Even though India lost five wickets for just 32 runs after Rahane's early run-out on Day 3, the bowlers lead by Ashwin chipped away at the Australian top-order. Matthew Wade made a valiant 40 off 137 before Jadeja had him with an arm-ball. Ashwin and Bumrah picked the key wickets in the form of Marnus Labhuschgane - a peach of a delivery that landed on leg stump and spun away enough to take the edge of the Labhucschange's bat, who went back to defend the marginal length ball - to which he should have moved forward.

Steve Smith's horror series continued as he went for his third consecutive single-digit score (8), bowled round his legs as he shuffled across with the ball just about kissing the leg stump to disturb the bails. With two big guns of the Australian line-up gone early, the hosts crumbled and coupled with a controversial DRS decision against skipper Tim Paine, Australia put themselves in a position from where a draw seemed a remote possibility, let alone a win.

Brief Scores: Australia 200 (Cameron Green 45; Mohammad Siraj 3/35) & 195 (Marnus Labhuschagne 48; Jasprit Bumrah 4/56) lead India 326 (Ajinkya Rahane 112; Mitchell Starc 3/78) by 69 runs 



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RankTeamPointsRating
1 New Zealand 3198 118
2 Australia 3028 116
3 India 3085 114
4 England 4326 106
5 South Africa 2499 96
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RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 5405 123
2 India 6102 117
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 Australia 4344 111
5 South Africa 3345 108
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RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 6877 275
2 Australia 6800 272
3 India 10186 268
4 Pakistan 7516 259
5 South Africa 5047 252
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