BRISBANE: After an engrossing third day’s play in the series-deciding fourth Test here on Sunday, debutants Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur punched above their weight with gorgeous half-centuries to hold Australia at bay and India bullish. The openers of Australia — David Warner (20) and Marcus Harris (1) — saw out six overs, and extended the lead of the home team to 54 by stumps after the first innings of India ended at 336.
Australia’s lead, however, could have been much greater had it not been for a lovely 123-run partnership for the seventh wicket between Washington (62) and Shardul (67), who defied the rival bowling attack with gusto and then attacked it.
We knew that their bowlers were getting a little tired, so it was a matter of sticking around for an hour. We knew that if we hang in, we’d probably be on top,” Shardul said at the post-play press conference.
Pacer Josh Hazlewood finished for Australia with a well-deserved 5/57, a reward for consistently bowling at a brisk pace with an impeccable line and length.
Washington and Shardul combined caution with aggression to bail their team out of a precarious 186 for six, symbolizing the courage displayed by the visitors, now made almost second-string due to a plethora of wounds sustained by their top players through the four-match sequence.