India make Australia toil with series victory in sight

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Rishabh Pant

India went a long way to securing a Test series victory in Australia for the first time as they made the hosts toil in the field on the second day of the fourth Test in Sydney.

The tourists, who resumed in the morning on 303/4, racked up a total of 622/7 before Virat Kohli decided to declare the innings late in the final session.

Australia openers Marcus Harris (19) and Usman Khawaja (5) then saw out 10 overs as the home team went to stumps on 24/0.

However, the India day belonged to India’s batsmen as Cheteshwar Pujara took his overnight score of 130 and went to make 193.

When Pujara’s wicket fell and India were 418/6, Australia will have had thoughts that they could wrap up the innings but Rishabh Pant and Ravi Jadeja had other ideas.

The duo shared in a record stand of 204 for the seventh wicket with Pant slamming his way to a career-best 159 not out off just 189 balls.

Jadeja struck 81 before he was bowled by spinner Nathan Lyon and that was the cue for Kohli to call time on the innings.

Australia’s bowlers toiled for 167 overs over the two days with Lyon taking 4-178 in 57.2 overs while seamer Josh Hazlewood returned figures of 2-105 in 35 overs.

With two days of the Test complete it will take a minor miracle from the Aussies to deny India at least a draw which is all they need to secure the Test series.