Australia v India: Tourists face tough task to avoid defeat in third Test


India face a daunting task to avoid defeat in the third Test against Australia after closing day four on 98-2, requiring a further 309 runs to win.

The hosts resumed on 103-2 before declaring on 312-6, setting India an unlikely 407 for victory in Sydney.

All-rounder Cameron Green hit an entertaining 84, while Steve Smith made 81 and Marnus Labuschagne scored 73.

India’s chase started well, before Shubman Gill fell for 31 and Rohit Sharma was caught in the deep for 52.

Cheteshwar Pujara and captain Ajinkya Rahane remain unbeaten on nine and four respectively, but will need to form a substantial partnership to help their side either bat out the final day for a draw or pull off a remarkable victory.

The highest successful fourth-innings chase at the Sydney Cricket Ground is 288, which Australia made against South Africa in 2006.

The four-match series is currently level at 1-1, with the final Test in Brisbane starting on 15 January.

Day four was marred by an incident in which play was halted for 10 minutes shortly before tea after India fast bowler Mohammed Siraj alerted the umpires to alleged abuse from a section of the Sydney Cricket Ground crowd.

Six people were subsequently ejected by police.

The International Cricket Council are investigating allegations of racist abuse against India players by crowd members on day three, while Cricket Australia have condemned all discriminatory behaviour “in the strongest possible terms”.


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