India are on the verge of victory, despite Pat Cummins’s brilliance. Having resumed the day’s play at 54 for the loss of five wickets, India went all guns blazing scoring runs at ease. Especially Mayank Agarwal and Rishabh Pant tried to target Nathan Lyon, dislodging him for a couple of boundaries before Mayank was undone by a low seaming delivery bowled by Cummins which dislodged his middle and off stump.
Rishabh however still kept playing shots at ease. He was joined by Ravindra Jadeja at the crease and both added 17 valuable runs to the Indian total, surpassing 100 runs for India. However, at that point of time, Cummins bowled a short delivery to Jadeja, who tried to flick it to the leg side as he was unable to control the ball and gifted his wicket which was easily caught by Usman Khawaja stationed at gully. Rishabh too soon perished while trying to play cheeky uppish-drive off the wicket-keeper’s head as Paine easily got him caught off Josh Hazlewood’s delivery. With the lead already amounting to 398 runs, India captain Virat Kohli decided to declare thus asking the Aussies to chase down a target of 399 runs. Pat Cummins was the star performer for Australia as he picked up six wickets while giving up a mere 27 runs, Mayank Agarwal, the debutant was the top-scorer for India by putting up 42 important runs for India.
The Australian openers, Marcus Harris and Aaron Finch kickstarted the Australian chase, while Ishant Sharma was handed the responsibility of handling the new ball for India along with Jasprit Bumrah. The Indians soon sent Finch back to the pavilion after he was caught at second slips by Kohli off Bumrah. Marcus Harris was the next man to be dismissed when he was comfortably caught by Mayank at forward short-leg off Jadeja’s bowling. Shaun Marsh and Usman Khawaja then fought their hearts out as they managed to resist any further damage before Lunch. The Australian score at the end of the first session of Day 4 read at 44 for the loss of two wickets.
Marsh and Khawaja resumed the second session on a positive note, playing watchfully and carefully and negating the Indian threat. However, Usman was adjudged LBW off a peach of a delivery by Mohammed Shami. Suddenly the Aussies were floundering at 63/3. Travis Head, however, along with Shaun steadied the sinking Australian ship with a fine partnership of 51 runs. At this juncture, however, Shaun was adjudged LBW off a Bumrah’s in-swinging delivery, and soon Mitchell Marsh was also sent back home. Trying to drive over the covers, the younger Marsh was caught easily by Kohli at covers as Jadeja picked up his second wicket of the innings. Tim Paine joined Head at the crease and him along with Travis made sure that the Australians didn’t lose another wicket before tea. The Australian total was 138 for 5 at the end of the second session.
Shami resumed the proceedings for India after Tea, and his very first ball was displaced by Tim Paine for a boundary, however, Shami came back strong and bowled a tight line and length thereon. Head was castled by Ishant having played down onto stumps thus being himself responsible for his soft dismissal. The Australian total stumbled at 157 for six at that juncture. However, Tim Pain along with Pat Cummins resisted the fiery Indian bowling before Paine was caught by Rishabh Pant off Jadeja’s bowling trying to play a late cut for a couple of runs. After the fall of Paine’s wicket, the Indians needed just three more dismissals for their historic and maiden Boxing Day Test victory in Australia.
However, Cummins had some other plans. Initially with Mitchell Starc for a 39 runs partnership and then with Nathan Lyon for an unbeaten 43 runs partnership, he made sure that Australia didn’t surrender without giving any fight and especially on Day 4. Starc was clean bowled by Shami after going for a swing. In the meantime, Pat Cummins reached to his second fifty and made sure that play is conducted on Day 5. At Stumps, Australia were 258 for the loss of eight wickets, still needing 141 runs to win the test.
It is quite certain that India is to win this match courtesy of no rain on Day 5 which is actually predicted on Sunday, however, the way Pat Cummins fought a lone battle for his team giving away his all in the entire match and especially in the second innings should be appreciated and should definitely be rewarded with a man of the match award. What do you think? Will Australia do the unthinkable courtesy of Pat Cummins or will India easily dismantle the final two wickets to register their first Boxing Day Test victory in Australia?