Australia still 386 runs behind India as bad light, rain end play early on day three at the SCG
Marcus Harris (left) chopped on as he looked set for Australia’s first century of the summer. (AP: Rick Rycroft)
Australia has endured another rough day of Test cricket against India, scratching its way to 6-236 on day three, still 386 runs in arrears of India’s first-innings total in the fourth Test at the SCG.
The umpires mercifully called the day’s play on account of bad light and rain about 90 minutes early, but India had already ripped the heart out of Australia’s middle order.
Australia began the day with basically no hope of victory, but with a pitch conducive to batting and all 10 wickets intact, the hosts’ maligned batsmen had a chance to find some form.
The Test team’s latest opening partnership of Usman Khawaja and Marcus Harris looked to be doing just that, comfortably making it to 0-72 before Khawaja (27) out of nowhere smacked wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav straight to mid-wicket in the 22nd over.
Harris was joined by Marnus Labuschagne and made it to another half-century before lunch, but Australia lost 3-35 in the first hour of the second session in another disappointing collapse.
Australia’s first century of the summer was there for the taking as Harris reached 79, but another the highest-scoring Australian innings of the summer and another promising partnership ended when he meekly chopped on for just after the break.
Marnus Labuschagne was one of a number of Aussies to get settled before getting out. (AP: Rick Rycroft)
Shaun Marsh (8) edged Ravindra Jadeja to first slip in a tame dismissal that is almost certain to cast yet more doubt on his Test prospects going forward, and Labuschagne’s first innings at first drop ended on 20 three overs later when he clipped off his pads and Ajinkya Rahane took a classic catch at mid-wicket.
Travis Head (20) kept up the trend of getting set before falling meekly when he charged Yadav and chipped straight back into the bowler’s waiting hands.
Captain Tim Paine, who has struggled to score runs but has at least averaged 75 balls faced per innings, could not even dig in for a decent amount of time — clean bowled for 5 through a wide-open gate as he attempted to slap Yadav through the off side.
That united the recalled Peter Handscomb and the overperforming Pat Cummins and they managed to score 38 runs together before the umpires sent the players off the ground because of the fading light and rain set in while they were off.
Cummins (25) and Handscomb (28) will resume half an hour early on day four, at 10:00am AEDT.
Look back at how day three unfolded in the live blog below.