Aussies lead by 182, Test in the balance | Ralph Lauren

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Australia hold a 182-run lead at lunch on day four of the series-deciding fourth Test against at the Gabba, having reached 4-149 after yet another fierce fightback from India.

Tim Paine’s team, who require a victory to reclaim the Border-Gavaskar trophy, are battling both Brisbane’s weather and an inexperienced opposition repeatedly proving they will not be intimidated.

Rain is expected to interrupt play on Monday and Tuesday.

The highest successful chase in a Gabba Test came in 1951, when Australia finished 7-236, but the hosts have fresher memories of how India incredibly salvaged a draw last week at the SCG.

Josh Hazlewood flagged that the forecast may influence the timing of a potential declaration but Australia would likely make an informed assessment after batting for two sessions.

Monday’s chaotic collapse of 4-34 ensured quick runs were hard to come by in the morning session, which ended with Steve Smith and Cameron Green unbeaten on 28 and four respectively.

David Warner (48) and Marcus Harris (38) enjoyed a productive start to the day after Australia resumed at 0-21, adding 40 runs during the first seven overs.

First-change bowlers Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur, who combined in a seventh-wicket stand of 123 runs that rocked Australia’s hopes of an imposing first-innings lead, built dot-ball pressure to ignite yet another momentum shift.

Thakur snapped the 89-run partnership between Warner and Harris – the highest opening stand that either side has managed during the four-Test series.

Harris gloved a short ball from the paceman to keeper Rishabh Pant before Warner departed the following over, having been trapped lbw by offspinner Sundar.

Warner reviewed after consulting with Marnus Labuschagne then continued to head towards the dressing room, knowing his fate long before it was confirmed by ball-tracking technology.

Labuschagne briefly settled before Mohammed Siraj, who debuted at the MCG but is now spearheading India’s unheralded attack, blasted out both the leading run-scorer of the series and Matthew Wade in the 31st over.

Labuschagne raced to 25 then edged his 22nd delivery to Rohit Sharma at second slip.

Wade ensured that speculation about his place in the XI would continue, falling for a third-ball duck when Pant pocketed a leg-side edge.

Smith refused to panic after the carnage, setting the stage for a thrilling end to an entertaining series.



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