Josh Hazlewood strikes late in the day with Ajinkya Rahane’s wicket to dent India further. The wicket also broke the 43-run partnership for the fifth wicket after Nathan Lyon’s double strike earlier in the session. Rishabh Pant and Hanuma Vihari, the last recognised pair, will have to keep India in the hunt in their 287-run chase.
Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon claimed two wickets each as Australia took control of the Perth Test against India at the end of the fourth day. Chasing the competitive 287-run target, India’s leading batsmen failed to deliver with the willow but middle-order pair of Hanuma Vihari (24*) and Rishabh Pant (9*) kept the visitors alive to guide them to 112/5 at stumps, 175 runs behind the target. Australia eye an equaliser in the four-Test series as India won the first Test in Adelaide last week.
For India, Mohammed Shami was the wrecker-in-chief as he claimed six wickets, his fourth five-wicket haul in Tests. Jasprit Bumrah picked up three wickets, while Ishant Sharma dismissed Peter Handscomb (13) to join the party.
India opener KL Rahul continued his poor outing as he lost his wicket for zero in the first over. He had managed to score just two runs in the previous innings.
Cheteshwar Pujara (4), who was only batsman to score a century in the first Test that India won by 31 runs, joined Rahul back in pavilion inside first four over.
Captain Virat Kohli, who had scored a noteworthy 123-run knock in the first innings, couldn’t help India much in the chase and lost his wicket for just 17 runs. Kohli edged a straight Nathan Lyon delivery to Usman Khawaja at slip for 17, sparking scenes of jubilation from the Australian players.
The off-spinner claimed the India talisman for a record seventh time, the most by a bowler, and in his next over bowled Vijay for 20 off an inside edge.
Lyon continued his stranglehold over India, continually troubling the batsmen by targeting the expansive rough patches.
Murali Vijay, the other opener who has failed to impress in the ongoing series, stood tall at the cease for a while but managed to contribute just 20 runs off 67 balls.
Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, who scored a fifty in the first innings, tried to anchor Indian innings again but lost his wicket to Hazlewood for 30, just six overs before the stumps.
The bowling onslaught has Australia on the cusp of snapping a barren six-Test run without a win and providing skipper Tim Paine with his first triumph as captain.
Australia’s bowlers regained firm control of the match after their batsmen had crumbled against quick Mohammed Shami in the middle session.