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India vs Australia | Innings Report: Kuldeep Fifer Allows India to Enforce Follow-on in Sydney

After the opening session of the day was washed out, Australia added 64 runs to their overnight score of 236 for 6, largely because of their last-wicket partnership of 42 between Mitchell Starc (29*) and Josh Hazlewood (21). The home team were dismissed for 300 in 104.5 overs.

Cricketnext Staff |January 6, 2019, 10:19 AM IST
India vs Australia | Innings Report: Kuldeep Fifer Allows India to Enforce Follow-on in Sydney

Left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav (5 for 99) claimed his second Test five-wicket haul as India bundled out Australia in the second session of day four of the fourth and final Test in Sydney on Sunday (January 6). With a 322-run lead, Indian skipper Virat Kohli wasted no time in enforcing the follow-on.

After the opening session of the day was washed out, Australia added 64 runs to their overnight score of 236 for 6, largely because of their last-wicket partnership of 42 between Mitchell Starc (29*) and Josh Hazlewood (21). The home team were dismissed for 300 in 104.5 overs.

Persistent light rain prevented any play in the morning session. A huge storm rolled in late Saturday, forcing play to finish half an hour early, and the overcast skies lingered into Sunday. Lunch on day four was taken without a ball being bowled.

When the match finally started in the second session, Mohammed Shami castled overnight batsman Pat Cummins in the very first over for 25. Cummins had batted well till then but had no answer to Shami's delivery that kept low and scooted under his bat.

Peter Handscomb crafted a couple of good-looking shots against Kuldeep but could only add nine runs to his overnight score as he was sent back by Jasprit Bumrah. The paceman kept pegging Handscomb back with short ones and then brought one back in out of nowhere as the ball found the inside edge of the bat, clipped the right-hander's pad and went back to rattle the off-stump.

Coming in at No. 10, Nathan Lyon couldn't offer any resistance like he has done in the series and was trapped right in front of the stumps, becoming Kuldeep's fourth victim. Starc and Hazlewood stuck for a while and brought the deficit down to some extent by adding some crucial runs for the final wicket. The two kept playing their shots, most of them being straight-batted, and kept India at bay.

It was Kuldeep who broke the frustrating stand by pinning Hazlewood right in front of the stumps and completed his five-fer. India have enough runs to play with and they did decide to impose the follow-on, which meant this is the first time in 30 years Australia have had to follow on in a home Test. The last time this happened was at the same venue in 1988 against England in the one-off Bicentennial Test.

Earlier, after India amassed 622 for 7 in their first innings on the back of solid knocks from Cheteshwar Pujara (193), Rishabh Pant (159*), Ravindra Jadeja (81) and Mayank Agarwal (77), Australia's top three - Marcus Harris (79), Usman Khawaja (27) and Marnus Labuschagne (38) - got good starts but couldn't convert it into something substantial.

Shaun Marsh (8), Travis Head (20) and skipper Tim Paine (5) too failed to deliver as Kuldeep and Ravindra Jadeja spun a web around Australian batsmen, picking up five of the six wickets to fall on Day 3.

India lead the series 2-1 after victories in Adelaide and Melbourne and are fast closing in on a historic first-ever series win Down Under.

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