Ravindra Jadeja’s sensational all-round performance where he smashed 63 and took 3/24 put India on course for a series win against Australia and regain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy on day 3 of the fourth and final Test at the HPCA stadium on Monday. At stumps, India were 19/0, needing a further 87 runs for victory with KL Rahul on 13* and Murali Vijay on 6*. (Day 3 highlights)
Jadeja’s efforts with both bat and ball summed up his overall contribution on a day where he became only the second Indian player after Kapil Dev to score over 500 runs and take 50 wickets in a Test season. His fifty, combined with his 96-run partnership with Wriddhiman Saha for the seventh wicket, boosted his confidence as India set out to bowl Australia out cheaply. (Scorecard)
Drama of the first ball
Jadeja’s all-round show almost did not materialise as there was drama at the start of day 3. The left-hander was given out by umpire Marais Erasmus on the first ball of the day. Jadeja reviewed it and replays showed no edge. After he survived, Australia endured a frustrating period after the umpire informed Steve Smith that ball-tracking was not available in the DRS due to a power issue at the venue.
With DRS only partially available, Australia hesistated to take a review and Jadeja benefited, surviving two close LBW shouts off Josh Hazlewood on 29 and 33. After overcoming the testing first hour, Jadeja played with a mixture of caution and aggression. Saha, on the other hand, went past 1000 runs while Jadeja brought up his seventh fifty. The 96-run partnership helped India erase the deficit but Cummins snapped the stand when Jadeja dragged a length delivery back onto the stumps.
Saha (31) was undone by a pacy bouncer and the rest of the tail did not hang about. Nathan Lyon finished up with his ninth five-wicket haul when he had Kuldeep Yadav caught at deep mid wicket as India were all out for 332, armed with a lead of 32.
Umesh Yadav, Indian bowlers make merry
Armed with a small but vital lead, both Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar exploited the cracks on a pitch that had extra bounce and pace to their advantage. David Warner’s (6) poor series ended when he edged an awayswinger. Steve Smith (17) struck a couple of boundaries but he dragged a short ball from Bhuvneshwar Kumar back on to the stumps. Matt Renshaw’s poor match ended as he edged a short ball from Umesh to depart for 8.
Glenn Maxwell and Peter Handscomb steadied the innings with a 56-run partnership before Ravichandran Ashwin snapped up Handscomb for 18 with Ajinkya Rahane taking a sharp catch at slip. Australia lost Shaun Marsh (1), who was reportedly suffering from back spams, just before the tea break. All hopes for Australia ended when Maxwell padded up an offbreak from Ashwin to depart for 45. Matthew Wade found no support from the tail and although he took Australia’s lead past 100 with a six and a four off Umesh, Ashwin wrapped up the innings by getting Hazlewood as Australia ended on 137, giving India a target of 106.
In response, KL Rahul started rapidly with three boundaries off Cummins as India ended the day within sight of a series win. However, the exploits of Jadeja have ensured India end a marathon Test season on a high.