With the second Test perfectly poised, the first hour of the fourth day was going to decide which way this second Test match in Bengaluru would swing. For about 47 minutes, India looked like being the team about to take control of the Test match and set a big target for Australia, before the pacers Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, with a new ball in hand, decided to take matters into their own hands.
Four wickets fell in the space of two overs, with Ajinkya Rahane, Karun Nair, Cheteshwar Pujara, who was dismissed in the 90s for the first time in his career, and R Ashwin all falling and just like that Australia had the Test match back in their grasp again.
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After India had a bit of luck to start the day – an inside edge off Pujara fell just short of Peter Handscomb at short leg, while India finally got a review right when Pujara, again, was given out lbw with the ball-tracker showing the ball missing the stumps, it all went awry in a hurry.
Steven Smith took the new ball right on the 80-over mark and after a couple of nothing-is-happening overs, it changed.
Starc, who was not that impressive on day three, showed why he is the best fast bowler in the world by picking up Rahane and Karun Nair off consecutive deliveries with his trademark full-length deliveries.
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Rahane (52, 134b, 4x4) was first struck in front and while Nigel Llong gave it not out, thinking the ball probably pitched outside the leg-stump, Australia, showing how the reviews should be used, asked for the DRS, with the ball-tracker coming up with three reds.
Next ball, Nair (0, 1b), thinking this was a T20 game, went for an expansive drive off his very first ball and the result of that ridiculous shot was his stumps going for a walk and him walking back for a golden duck.
Those blows had India shaking, but the knockout was landed when Pujara (92, 221b, 7x4) lobbed up a rising delivery to Mitchell Marsh at gully to give Hazlewood his first of the day, before three deliveries later, R Ashwin (4, 3b, 1x4) was trudging off after getting one of those balls that hits a crack and shoots low to sneak under the bat.
A five-for soon became a six-for for Hazlewood as Umesh Yadav (1, 5b), instead of giving the strike to Wriddhiman Saha, decided to try and become the hero only to hole out at mid-off.
Ishant (6, 28b, 1x4) stuck around for a few overs with Saha, who added 20 (37b, 2x4, 1x6) precious runs, but could have added a few more had he perhaps been a little more proactive with his running and thought processes, and while the lead increased a little bit more with the 16-run partnership, Australia finally got India bowled out.
It won't be an easy target to chase, but with the wicket usually playing best in the final two sessions, Australia will fancy their chances. India will need to bowl a lot better than they have done in the three innings so far in this series if they are to pull off a victory.
First innings: India: 189 all out in 71.2 overs.
Australia: 276 all out in 122.4 overs.
First innings lead: Australia, 87 runs.
Second innings: India: 274 all out in 97.1 overs.
Overnight score: 213/4 in 72 overs.
Bowling: Second innings: Australia: Mitchell Starc 16-1-74-2; Josh Hazlewood 24-5-67-6; Nathan Lyon 33-4-82-0; Steve O'Keefe 21.1-3-36-2; Mitchell Marsh 3-0-4-0.
Fall of wickets: Second innings: India: 39/1, Abhinav Mukund (10.4 overs); 84/2, KL Rahul (24.2 overs); 112/3, Virat Kohli (34.2 overs); 120/4, Ravindra Jadeja (38.1 overs); 238/5, Ajinkya Rahane (84.3 overs); 238/6, Karun Nair (84.4 overs); 242/7, Cheteshwar Pujara (85.2 overs); 246/8, R Ashwin (85.5 overs); 258/9, Umesh Yadav (87.3 overs); 274/10, Ishant Sharma (97.1 overs).