With just a day left in the match and the weather playing spoilsport, a result may not be possible at Sydney, but a draw would be enough for India to win their first Test series ever in Australia
Sydney: Kuldeep Yadav picked up a five-wicket haul, as India bowled out Australia for 300 and then enforced the follow on on Day 4 of the fourth Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Sunday.
The hosts were 6/0 in their second innings before bad light forced an early tea to be taken. Play was called off soon after, with only 25.2 overs bowled in the day. With just a day left in the match and the weather playing spoilsport, there is a slim chance of a result barring a catastrophic collapse by the Australians on Monday.
However, that will not stop India from celebrating as they are on the cusp of making history, winning a Test series in Australia for the first time ever. India are leading 2-1, having won at Adelaide and Melbourne, and a draw in the fourth Test will be enough to seal the deal for Kohli and Co. The last time India came close to winning a Test series Down Under was back in 2003-04, when Sourav Ganguly's team lack the final push in Sydney and had to be happy with a 1-1 result.
The highlight of a gloomy Sunday at SCG was Kuldeep's fifer — the second of his Test career. The Chinaman, who was featuring in the eleven for the first time in the ongoing series, made the host batsmen dance to his tunes. His dismissal of Tim Paine was the best of the lot, as he brought the ball sharply back into the right-hander from ouside the off-stump and hitting the top of leg-stump through the 'gate' as Paine went for a drive. A dream delivery for any spinner.
Kuldeep's exploits helped India to enforce a follow-on on Australia for the first time on their own soil in 31 years. The last time that the Aussies had to do it was also at Sydney. That was against England in 1988.
It is also after 14 years that Australia are facing a follow-on anywhere. The last time that they did was in the Ashes of 2005 at Trent Bridge.
After the morning session was washed out, play resumed at 1.50pm local time with 230 minutes lost to bad light and rain since Day 3.
India took the second new ball immediately and made quick inroads. Mohammed Shami (2-58) bowled Pat Cummins (25) with a delivery that kept low. That was the sixth ball after resumption of play.
At the other end, Jasprit Bumrah (1-62) set up Peter Handscomb (37) who played on after a resilient innings facing 111 balls.
Kuldeep then trapped Nathan Lyon (0) lbw as Australia lost three wickets for 22 runs in the space of 44 balls.
The Chinaman could immediately have completed his five-wicket haul, but Hanuma Vihari put down a skier from Josh Hazlewood (21) at mid-on. In the process, Vihari hurt his left shoulder and didn't take the field later on in the session, with Hardik Pandya coming on as a substitute fielder.
Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc (29 not out) then added 42 runs for the tenth wicket as Australia reached 300 despite another pitiful batting display.
Kuldeep got his reward thereafter with Hazlewood trapped lbw on a close umpire's call, and the decision stayed in the wrist-spinner's favour despite Australia taking the DRS.
Earlier, incessant rain and bad light prevented the start of play. The match couldn't commence at the scheduled early 10am local time start due to bad light and wet conditions from heavy rain overnight.
The light improved in some time and the two umpires stipulated 11am local time as the start of play, but rain arrived to prevent that from happening.
The inclement weather didn't relent until lunchtime and the morning session was completely washed out.
Australia were reduced to 236/6 at stumps on day three when bad light had stopped play.
On days one and two, Cheteshwar Pujara (193) and Rishabh Pant (159 not out) helped India to a grand first innings total of 622/7 declared.
With PTI inputs
Read Exclusive COVID-19 Coronavirus News updates, at MyNation.
Last Updated 6, Jan 2019, 3:05 PM