Beginning from an overnight score of 3/0, Australia trail by 88 runs against India on Day 5 of the ongoing fourth and final Test match, at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Matthew Kuhnemann (0*), Travis Head (3*) will resume batting for Australia on Day 5. The duo managed to keep their wicket in the final session of Day 5 in a rather nervous manner and will look to up the tempo in the first session of Day 5.
In response to Australia's first innings score of 480, India posted 57I on Day 4, with Virat Kohli smacking 186 runs. The former captain had already bagged a half-century on Day 3, and then got his 28th Test century in the post-Lunch session of Day 4, and then brought up his 150 in the final session. He was the last wicket, getting dismissed by Todd Murphy for 186 off 364 balls.
Meanwhile, Ravindra Jadeja, who resumed batting on Day 4, was dismissed by Murphy too in the first session, mustering only 28 runs. Nathan Lyon struck for Australia in the post-Lunch session to take the wicket of KS Bharat, who was nearing a half-century. Lyon also took the wicket of Umesh Yadav in the final session, with Mitchell Starc dismissing Axar Patel, who smacked 79 off 113 balls.
India's qualification to the WTC final is hanging by a thread, and they need to win this match to confirm their berth. If they draw or lose, their fate rests on Sri Lanka, who need to win their remaining two games. India lead 2-1 in the ongoing series, a win for the Aussies will level the series, and a draw or defeat for the visitors will win the series for India.
India's lead isn't huge and it won't put much pressure on Australia because the pitch hasn't cracked up and is still good for batting. To bag a win, India need the pitch to help their bowlers and also make Aussie batters play poor shots and create mistakes.
After the final session on Day 4, Axar spoke about the playing conditions. The all-rounder registered 79 off 113 balls in the first innings.
"I am feeling good to have contributed with the bat. I've had the confidence to go after ones that I can hit, the talk in the 1st Test is what I'm following and I'm gaining a bit of information about my ability with the bat. I had no set role (when asked if he was told to score quickly), just wanted to make as many runs as possible, bat along with the ball not doing a lot", he said.
"One you're set, it's easier to bat, the odd ball is turning and staying low, it's slightly difficult when you're new to the crease, but once you adjust, it's still easy to bat on this wicket", he further added.