Australia has suffered the ignominy of taking the follow on at home after over three decades. With their team looking clueless in front of a belligerent Indian bowling attack, weather is the most important factor preventing India from a 3-1 result.
Day 4 of the Sydney test was a rather dull one for cricket lovers, with only 25.2 overs bowled after continued interruptions by rain and ultimately bad light forcing early stumps. However, in the spirit of a series where many records have tumbled, it was pleasing to note that the Indian team achieved another major feat in Australia today by giving the Kangaroos the follow on in their own bastion – for the first time in 31 years.
Continuing from their overnight score of 236/6, Australia lost three wickets in quick succession. Cummins lost his stumps to a bouncer from Shami that stayed low after scoring 25 (44 balls, 6×4). Handscomb played on to a short and slightly full ball from Bumrah for 37 (111 balls, 5×4).
Lyon was given LBW when he tried to sweep a full toss from Kuldeep Yadav, that struck on his boot and could have potentially be reviewed as Australia had both reviews intact. Starc was not very convinced on it, and Lyon walked to the pavilion for a duck. Ricky Ponting was extremely disappointed and said in the commentary box that Australians were not desperate enough.
Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazelwood held off the Indian bowlers for an hour, helped in part by a missed catch by Hanuma Vihari. Finally, Hazlewood was adjudged LBW off Kuldeep, giving the chinaman his second five wicket haul in only 6 test matches. Australia had been bowled out for 300 runs, 322 runs behind India. The umpires took out the light meter and the players walked off with Australia at 6 for no loss. Ultimately, they did not return for the day.
Australia still trail by 316 runs on Day 5 and play will start 30 minutes earlier at 4:30 am IST. The series is virtually sealed for India, but a 3-1 result will depend on the weather and light conditions tomorrow.