3rd Test: Gritty Cummins' keeps India at bay on Day 4

Melbourne: Pacer Pat Cummins doubled up his career-best bowling effort with a stubborn unbeaten half-century to help Australia reach 258...


Melbourne: Pacer Pat Cummins doubled up his career-best bowling effort with a stubborn unbeaten half-century to help Australia reach 258/8 and deny India an easy win at stumps on Day 4 of the third Test here on Saturday.

Cummins, who starred with the ball, picking up a career best 6/27 in India's second essay, displayed his batting prowess by top-scoring for the hosts with an 61 unbeaten after the top-order left the hosts reeling.


With predictions of heavy downpour on Sunday, Cummins and Nathan Lyon (6 batting) batted sensibly to raise an unbeaten 43-run ninth wicket stand as the umpires allowed an extra half hour before dislodging the bails for the day.

Chasing a massive 399, Australia lost half their side within the first two sessions of play and lost three more in the final session, courtesy a combined effort of disciplined bowling from the Indian attack.

Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja emerged as the pick of the bowlers, returning 3/82 even as the pace duo of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami took two apiece.

Veteran Ishant Sharma got the dangerous Travis Head (34) to further dent the hosts' hopes of a comeback.

Bumrah started the second innings with the wickets of the off-colour opener Aaron Finch (3) and top scorer Shaun Marsh (44), while Jadeja got rid of the other opener Marcus Harris (13), and followed that up with the wickets of skipper Tim Paine (26) and Mitchell Marsh (10).

In between, Shami trapped Usman Khwaja (33) and later came back to remove Mitchell Starc (18) to reduce the hosts to 215/8.

Resuming the third and final session at 138/5, Head and Paine looked positive before Ishant got Head's stumps flying while Paine batted sensibly with new man Cummins.

But once Paine departed to a brilliant low catch from his opposite number behind the stumps, Cummins took the onus and helped the team to a 39-run eighth wicket stand with fellow quick Starc before joining hands with Lyon.

Earlier, Bumrah and Jadeja struck once each to see off the Aussie openers -- Finch and Harris, respectively and reduce the hosts to 44/2 by lunch after India had declared their second innings at 106/8 after an hour of batting in the first session.

Brief Scores:
Australia: 151 & 258/8 (Pat Cummins 61 batting, Shaun Marsh 44, Usman Khawaja 33; Ravindra Jadeja 3/82, Jasprit Bumrah 2/53) vs India: 443/7(d) & 106/8(d) (Mayank Agarwal 42, Rishabh Pant 33; Pat Cummins 6/27) at stumps on Day 4



A day after meek surrender, Lyon backs Australian batsmen

A sympathetic Nathan Lyon is not too worried about the Australian batsmen's abject first-innings surrender in the third Test against India, saying "success for them is around the corner".

The hosts were placed at 258 for eight Saturday, chasing 399, and are two wickets away from conceding a 2-1 series lead to the visitors.

"I see how much hard work the guys are doing in the nets and in training. We know they are working hard and not going out to fail. They have all my support," Lyon said at the end of fourth day's play.

"We are up against a world-class bowling attack, one of the best Indian attacks I have ever seen. They are disappointed but I know how hard they are working. Success for them is around the corner."

In reply to India's first-innings total of 443 for seven declared, the hosts were bowled out for 151.

"I am a massive fan of Aaron Finch. He is working hard and seeing a lot of balls in nets. We have seen him in international cricket in all three formats as a world-class batsman. He is disappointed as anyone else is," he added, backing the under-fire opener after yet another failure.

The Australian batting failed for a second time in this Test, after getting bowled out poorly in the first innings. They were reduced to 176 for seven before Pat Cummins saved the day for them and took matters into the fifth day.

"Pat Cummins has been exceptional in this match and he keeps getting better every day. I enjoy batting with pat helps calm down my nerves and it was an exciting challenge. It was a pretty special knock from him.

"He is a great bloke but even better cricketer. Seeing where he started from and seeing where he is now, he has a hell of a long career ahead of him," said Lyon.

"First innings' runs are counted in whichever Test match you play. Basically you are ahead of that game if you have runs on board. Unfortunately we missed that and now we are up against it," he added.

Lyon had special praise for Jasprit Bumrah who has picked eight wickets in the match and has been India's stand out bowler. But he said that the last two wickets will show a lot of fight on Sunday and will not go down easy to hand India victory.

"Bumrah is quick and has a very good slower one. He is world class and has all skills a very good all-round package. Not surprised that he is a top bowler in Test cricket so quickly because I have seen him in white ball cricket. So he is obviously a top class bowler.

"Pat and I are going to come out tomorrow and we are going to fight. We have to show a lot of pride and fight hard, and show what it means to wear the Baggy Green cap.

"We are going to win first ball in first over, and show a lot of fight and pride in playing for Australia. And we will enjoy doing that," he signed off.
-Source: News Agency

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