DHARAMSALA – All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja’s half-century propelled India into a slim first innings lead over Australia Monday before the hosts were bowled out for 332 on the third day of the series-deciding fourth Test.
Jadeja’s 63-run knock helped India overtake Australia’s first innings total of 300 and seize a 32-run lead at Dharamsala. Jadeja once again proved to be a thorn in the side of Australia, after making a crucial 54 and taking nine wickets in the drawn third Test at Ranchi.
The 28-year-old left-hander saw off a testing spell by Australia’s Pat Cummins (3-94) and Josh Hazlewood (1-51) before opening up to play some delightful shots. In the process, Jadeja became the third all-rounder ever to score 500-plus runs and take more than 50 wickets in a season, behind Indian great Kapil Dev and Australia’s Mitchell Johnson. With the series tied 1-1, India must win the match if they are to take back the Border-Gavaskar trophy from Australia, who triumphed at home in 2014-15.
Australia’s hopes of wrapping up the Indian tail early with the second new ball were dashed with Jadeja and Wriddhiman Saha putting on 96 runs for the seventh wicket stand after resuming at 248-6.
Cummins had appeared to give Australia the perfect start when he had Jadeja out caught behind off the first ball of the morning. But the decision was overturned after the Indian batsman asked for a review and replays showed the ball had missed the edge of the bat.
Off-spinner Nathan Lyon, who took four wickets in the final session on Saturday, was introduced into the attack in the seventh over the day but he failed to work any magic immediately. In his very first over, Jadeja hit a six over the mid-on fence, delighting the home crowd in the stands. But soon after reaching his seventh Test 50, Jadeja played a thick inside edge on to his stumps off Cummins.
The bowler was rewarded soon again when Saha tried to fend off a short delivery from the bowler but the ball flew to second slip where skipper Steve Smith took a brilliant one-handed catch. Lyon then sent back Kuldeep Yadav to complete his second five-wicket haul of the series and wrap up the Indian innings.-AFP