SYDNEY: A marathon century by Cheteshwar Pujara and a swashbuckling ton from Rishabh Pant all but ended Australia´s hopes of saving the series Friday as India built a massive first innings total in the final Sydney Test.
India began day two at 303 for four and proceeded to twist the knife against a demoralised home team that toiled in hot conditions with little joy.
Unless Australia win, India will claim a first-ever series victory Down Under since they began touring here in 1947-48.
At the other end chirpy wicketkeeper-batsman Pant plundered only his second Test century as he piled more pressure on a wilting Australian attack.
The 21-year-old left-hander, in only his ninth Test, smashed eight boundaries in his ton and quickly passed his previous Test high of 114, made at The Oval against England last year, swinging his bat as he grew in confidence.
He was ably supported by all-rounder Jadeja who raced to a 10th Test 50, unleashing his trademark celebration of twirling his bat like a samurai sword.
So desperate were Australia at this point that Khawaja was given a bowl – only the second time he has been called on in a Test.
The methodical Pujara made a masterful 193 off 393 balls while Pant stroked his highest Test score in an entertaining 159 not out.
Ravindra Jadeja chipped in with a lively 81 in a 204-run stand with Pant — a record seventh wicket partnership at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Skipper Virat Kohli finally declared at 622 for seven when Jadeja was out, with the tireless Nathan Lyon taking 4-178 off 57.2 gruelling overs.
It left new-look Australian openers Marcus Harris (19) and Usman Khawaja (five) to negotiate 10 tricky overs before stumps after a torturous day in the field. They ended at 24 without loss.
Apart from all this, The Bharat Army, which is one of the most famous fan clubs of the Indian national cricket team roasted the Australian fans at the Sydney Cricket Ground with a Rishabh Pant song during the 2nd Day of the ongoing 4th Test match between India and Australia.
The Aussie fans had earlier tried to hurt the Indian fans by asking them for their visas in the MCG Test match. And today the Bharat Army tried to troll the Aussie fans in a respectful manner though, by singing a song based on Rishabh Pant.
The Bharat Army sang;
“He’ll hit you for a six
He’ll babysit your kids
We’ve got Rishabh Pant!
We’ve got Rishabh Pant! ”
These chants would surely have tested the patience of the Australian fans sitting in the crowd but this describes how the series has been so far. Pant has emerged as one of the heroes for India both on and off the field in this series.
Here’s the video:
The visitors lead the series 2-1 after winning the opening clash in Adelaide and the third in Melbourne. Australia claimed victory in Perth.