Unlikely Heroes Sundar, Thakur Drag India Back Into Fourth Test
Faizan Hashmi 2 months ago Sun 17th January 2021 | 01:20 PM
Brisbane, Australia, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 17th Jan, 2021 ) :A pair of unlikely third-day batting heroes Sunday gave India a fighting chance of securing the draw they need in the fourth Test against Australia to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur, in just his second Test, put on 123 runs for the seventh wicket -- a record for India at the Gabba -- taking their team from a precarious 186 for seven to 309 before Thakur was bowled by Pat Cummins for an entertaining 67.
All-rounder Sundar, on debut, batted well with the tail until he guided a Mitchell Starc short ball to Cameron Green in the gully to fall for 62.
Without Sundar and Thakur, India, would have been in far greater trouble against an Australia side who must win the match to regain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with the four-match series locked at 1-1.
The two smashed the previous seventh-wicket record for India at the Gabba of 58, set by Kapil Dev and Manoj Prabhakar in 1991.
- Defiant stand - The visitors began the extended morning session on 62 for two, with Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane at the crease.
Both men looked to keep the scoreboard ticking over, in contrast to Saturday afternoon, where they were more intent on survival.
They saw off Starc and Cummins but Hazlewood was introduced into the attack and produced a brilliant over which led to Pujara's downfall.
Hazlewood had Pujara in trouble when a short ball followed him as he tried to evade it, the ball hitting his glove and falling just short of Cameron Green in the gully.
Rahane and Mayank Agarwal steadied the ship but with the lunch break in sight, Rahane couldn't resist playing at a wide ball from left-arm paceman Starc angling across his body and edged a comfortable catch to Matthew Wade at fourth slip.
The Indian captain, on 37, threw his head back in disgust at the manner of his dismissal before trudging off.
The Indians began the second session at 161 for four with the dangerous Agarwal and Rishabh Pant at the crease.
However, like Rahane, both Agarwal and Pant fell to injudicious shots.
Agarwal slashed at a wide delivery from Cummins' second ball after the resumption to fall for 38, caught at second slip by Steve Smith.
At that stage Australia were in command of the Test but Sundar, playing his first Test, and Thakur, in his second, had other ideas and defied the bowling attack with a mixture of solid defence and attractive stroke making.