Aus 274/5 after 87 overs: And that is the close of play. India haven’t done too badly considering the inexperience of their bowling line-up but it could have looked so much better if they had not put down two clear chances. 33 overs, 120 runs, 2 wickets in the final session of the day. Green is on 28* and Paine is on 38*. Together, they have put on 61 off 128 balls.
Aus 271/5 after 86 overs: Green and Paine are taking advantage of the new ball. India’s haven’t done much with it. They are scoring runs again. Their stand is already worth 58(121).
Aus 259/5 after 85 overs: Steady stuff but a bit too wide from Siraj. Not making the batsmen play enough in that over.
Aus 259/5 after 84 overs: Australia picking up some runs in the Natarajan over but the best part of the over was Rohit Sharma’s reaction to an appeal by Rishabh Pant. Pant wanted Rahane to take a review but Rohit, at second slip, just laughed it off.
Aus 251/5 after 83 overs: Siraj from the other end and he starts off with a maiden over.
Aus 251/5 after 82 overs: One run from the Natarajan over. Thakur was getting the ball to reverse and he was beating the bat too but India need another wicket here. Rahane gave it some thought.
The new ball has now been taken. Natarajan gets it.
Aus 250/5 after 81 overs: Paine with the four off the last ball of the over. Too short and wide from Sundar and the Australia skipper helped himself to four. The partnership is now worth 37(92).
The second new ball is available now. India have not taken it yet.
Aus 246/5 after 80 overs: DROPPED! Green, on 19, gets a life now off the third ball of the over. He hit it straight to the bowler, Thakur, who failed to make it stick. The catching has let India down so badly in this series.
Aus 246/5 after 79 overs: The wait is for the new ball now.
Aus 237/5 after 77 overs: Green and Paine are stitching together another partnership. India need to be patient as they have been all day but this pair showed in Sydney that they can bat well together.
Meanwhile in India, Tendulkar is making his Mumbai debut...
Aus 229/5 after 74 overs: Thakur into the attack. He needs to keep it tight until the new ball is taken. Maiden over.
Aus 229/5 after 73 overs: At the start of the session, it looked like Australia would pile on the runs but Natarajan changed that with two balls. The match hangs in the balance now.
Aus 228/5 after 72 overs: Natarajan goes on. The new ball is 8 overs away. Should India save him for it or continue?
Aus 224/5 after 71 overs: Sundar to continue. He had figures of 10-4-18-1 at one point. Now, 17-4-45-1. Australia have milked him for runs but he isn’t used to bowling long spells. That is the challenge for him.
Update from BCCI: Navdeep Saini has now gone for scans after he complained of pain in his groin earlier in the day while bowling.
Aus 218/5 after 70 overs: Time for a drinks break. This has been a superb spell by Natarajan. He has given it his all and got India back in the game. Continues to beat Green outside the off-stump. Very consistent too.
Aus 215/5 after 69 overs: Tight over again by Siraj – another maiden. New batsmen at the crease. Australia will look to rebuild through Green and Paine. India on the lookout for another wicket. Vital phase.
Aus 213/5 after 65.5 overs: WICKET! And it is the one that India wanted most badly. Natarajan strikes again with a short of a length ball. Labuschagne shaped up to pull it, got the top edge, easily taken by Rishabh Pant. The visitors are right back in this. Labuschagne c Pant b T Natarajan 108 (204)
Aus 207/4 after 65 overs: The Wade wicket gives India an opening. The foot in the door. Now, they need to force it open. Green will be confident after the knock in Sydney but India need to put him under pressure.
Aus 200/4 after 63.4 overs: WICKET! And India have the breakthrough they needed. Wade falls, Natarajan strikes, India can exhale. Short of good length, Wade caught between two minds, played a nothing shot, got the leading edge and Thakur took it but not before almost crashing into Shaw. The stand was worth 113 off 179 and it looked like it was taking the match away from India. Wade c Thakur b T Natarajan 45(87)
Aus 198/3 after 63 overs: Labuschagne gets his century – 101 off 195. He is looking so good and has made the most of his chance.
Aus 189/3 after 62 overs: This is how we are used to seeing Australia bat at home over the years. Run-rate around 4. They are doing that now. Can India’s inexperienced attack come up with the right kind of response? The Labuschagne-Wade stand is now worth 106 (170).
Aus 185/3 after 61 overs: The runs continue to flow. And really flow. Could be a long session for India.
Aus 178/3 after 60 overs: Thakur now has figures of 13-3-59-1. Way too expensive at the moment. He is going for wickets but not exactly bowling to his field. Labuschange now has moved on to 90, Wade has 34.
Aus 175/3 after 59 overs: Last 10 overs, Australia have scored 47 runs. That run-rate is way too high. India need to find a way to bring things under control again but this is also where the inexperience of the bowlers will start to become a hindrance.
Aus 169/3 after 58 overs: With each passing over, it seems like India have lesser control on the proceedings. Run scoring is at its easiest now. Rahane and Co need a wicket.
Aus 163/3 after 57 overs: From 17/2 to 163/3, this is a fine recovery for Australia. They will want this pair to push on for as long as possible.
Aus 160/3 after 56 overs: Thakur from the other end. Important for him to keep things tight at the start of the session while the batsmen are still a little wary.
Aus 157/3 after 55 overs: Sundar to kick things off. His average speed has been high, maybe he should try slowing it down a bit and giving it more air especially to Wade.
Players are back on the field for the final session of the day, one in which India will hope to hold on to their chances.
Aus 154/3 after 54 overs: And that is tea. A strange session for India. They kept things tight for most of it but Thakur’s loose bowling (10-3-47-1) has given it away in the last 10. Labuschagne (73) and Wade (27) looking good for Australia. But for the dropped catch, India could have been in a much better position.
The whole session: 27 overs, 89 runs, 1 wicket
Last 10 overs: 44 runs, 0 wkts
Aus 151/3 after 53 overs: Labuschagne is finding a better rhythm now. His strokeplay is becoming more fluent. Wade is looking busy as well. They went for a quick run in the over and Shaw almost hit Rohit Sharma, at short midwicket, with his throw.
Aus 137/3 after 51 overs: Labuschagne and Wade bring up their 50-run stand off 103 balls. Australia will want them to go on for a while.
Aus 136/3 after 50 overs: Australia getting a few more edges and runs along with them. Labuschagne and Wade have been together for a while now.
Aus 125/3 after 48 overs: India won’t mind the speed at which Australia are going about their innings. The run-rate of 2.6 means they can always turn things around quickly.
Aus 121/3 after 47 overs: Marnus Labuschagne brings up his 11th half-century of his Test career. He has been lucky but he’s there and that is all that matters. India need to put everything behind them and get him back in the dressing room quickly.
Aus 114/3 after 46 overs: Another drop? Natarajan gets the genuine edge from Labuschagne (48). It flies towards first slip. Pant dives across, doesn’t get his gloves to it and Pujara goes at it with one hand. Immediately after the drop, Pujara moves up a bit. He was standing a little too deep.
Aus 110/3 after 44 overs: Saini came back on the field briefly but is off again. Looks like he has done in his groin. Good thing India were playing five bowlers.
Aus 109/3 after 42 overs: Australia have managed to keep the scoreboard ticking in this session. 15 overs, 44 runs. Not too quick but enough. Still, India won’t mind this.
Aus 104/3 after 41 overs: One run off the final way for Wade, who is trying to be circumspect today.
Aus 103/3 after 40 overs: Natarajan continues from this end. One run from the over. Such has been Australia’s batting that India know if they keep plugging away, a wicket will come.
Aus 102/3 after 39 overs: Sundar has been superb. He has tied up one end and claimed the wicket on Smith too. 6-3-9-1, how are those figure for a spinner making his debut in Australia?
Aus 100/3 after 38 overs: Natarajan into the attack. Still no word on Saini’s injury. 113 balls for first 50 runs and 114 balls for second 50 runs. Progress hasn’t been quick.
Aus 97/3 after 37 overs: India get Labuschagne here and they will know they can run through the rest of this line-up. That is why the dropped chance is a big let-down.
Aus 93/3 after 35.5 overs: DROPPED!! Labuschagne, on 37, gets a life. He somehow keeps getting a lot of them. Rahane the culprit as he drops a regulation chance at gully. He can’t believe it but it was as regulation as it can get. Saini, the bowler, goes off the field immediately after bowling the ball. More injury concerns. Sigh.
Aus 87/3 after 34.1 overs: WICKET! India gets the big wicket. Sundar back into the attack and Smith plays an innocuous delivery back to Rohit Sharma, who was stationed at short midwicket for precisely that uppish drive. Sundar’s first Test wicket is a big one. Smith c Rohit b Washington Sundar 36(77)
Aus 82/2 after 33 overs: Smith looks to have settled in far too quickly today. He just came out looking good and set. They were dangerous time.
Aus 81/2 after 32 overs: The Smith-Labuschagne stand rolls on. The inexperienced attack with be feeling the pressure.
Aus 75/2 after 31 overs: The pitch seems to be completely flat at this point. India are trying to keep things as tight as possible.
Aus 72/2 after 30 overs: Saini and Siraj continue. Start of the session, some aggression might help. We haven’t seen too many bouncers from India today. Bumrah always mixes in a few.
Aus 69/2 after 28 overs: A bit of a mix-up in the middle between Smith and Labuschagne but both batsmen were safe in the end. India start the session with Saini.
The post-lunch session is all set to begin. The players are back out on the field.
Aus 65/2 after 27 overs: And that is lunch. 27 overs, 65 runs, 2 wickets in the session. India did well to send the openers back but after that Smith and Labuschagne have put on 48 (113). They have looked solid and in control.
Aus 65/2 after 26 overs: Saini keeping things simple. Bowling straight but not getting any movement either.
Aus 64/2 after 25 overs: Rahane now has the leg slip in for Sundar. He is bowling a middle and leg line. Restrictive as well as wicket-taking option.
Aus 64/2 after 24 overs: Just a few more minutes left for the first session. India would love one more wicket.
Aus 61/2 after 23 overs: Double change for India. Sundar into the attack and he starts off with a maiden over on debut.
Aus 61/2 after 22 overs: Labuschagne is in no hurry here. He has 16 off 60 but he looks comfortable in the middle. Meanwhile, Rahane finally gets Saini into the attack.
Aus 61/2 after 21 overs: The Australian batsmen have kept getting four balls. They relieve the pressure. Another four for Smith, who is hitting them right out of the middle today.
Aus 57/2 after 20 overs: A maiden over for Siraj but still no Saini in the attack.
Aus 57/2 after 19 overs: After a few quiet overs, Australia are motoring along. Two superb straight drives in the last two overs. Smith has 25 now and Labuschagne has 16. The partnership is worth 40 off 65 balls.
Aus 47/2 after 18 overs: Runs for Australia and Labuschagne including a majestic straight drive off the last ball of the Siraj over. He is looking solid.
Aus 39/2 after 17 overs: And another maiden. India won’t mind this.
Aus 39/2 after 16 overs: Another maiden over. It won’t trouble Smith and Labuschagne but you never know. Siraj keeping it tight.
Aus 39/2 after 15 overs: Maiden over by Shardul. He is getting good shape away from the right-hander but needs to probably pitch it up even more. Get them to drive. A bit too short at the moment.
Aus 39/2 after 14 overs: So back to Siraj it is. If India can get Smith or Labuschagne while the ball is still new, they will feel very relieved. They will continue to plug away either which way but it will help.
Aus 35/2 after 13 overs: Back-to-back fours for Smith, who is already looking well set. With that, the first hour of play comes to an end. India have done well to send the two openers but this is the in-form pair.
Aus 25/2 after 12 overs: Natarajan has got a good six-over spell and might be time for Rahane to look at Saini now. Or will he bring Siraj back for another go at Smith?
Aus 22/2 after 11 overs: Maiden over by Thakur. He is getting a hint of away movement.
Aus 22/2 after 10 overs: Natarajan has kept one end tight. 5-1-5-0. And India have got wickets from the other end.
Aus 20/2 after 9 overs: Steve Smith is off the mark with a three but Thakur getting some movement and he was pitching it much further up than Natarajan. Could mean runs but could also mean wickets.
Aus 17/2 after 8.1 overs: WICKET! Harris hits it straight to square leg - he’s gone for five. Thakur strikes with his first ball of the match. Marcus Harris c Washington Sundar b Thakur 5(23)
Aus 17/1 after 7 overs: Siraj continues to look the more dangerous of the two bowlers. Harris almost chopped the fifth delivery of the over back onto the stumps.
Aus 15/1 after 6 overs: Another steady over from Natarajan, who has conceded just three runs in his three overs so far.
Aus 14/1 after 5 overs: Warner dismissal aside, this looks like a very good batting track. Already looks like the batsmen can trust the bounce.
Aus 10/1 after 4 overs: Natarajan keeping things steady from the other end. He is getting some shape but hasn’t troubled the batsmen yet.
Aus 9/1 after 3 overs: Siraj strayed towards the leg-stump and Australia picked up four byes.
Aus 5/1 after 2 overs: Natarajan comes on to bowl from the other end. Steady over. Not great pace but accurate for now.
Aus 4/1 after 1 over: WICKET! Edged and taken. Siraj with the new ball, Siraj with the wicket. Warner edged it and Rohit Sharma, at second slip, took a super catch diving to his right. What a start to the day for India! Inexperience? What’s that! Warner c Rohit b Siraj 1(4)
05.06 am: India XI: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane(c), Mayank Agarwal, Rishabh Pant(w), Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, T Natarajan
05.03 am: Shardul Thakur, Mayank Agarwal, T Natarajan, Washington Sundar are into the XI. Ashwin missing out due to back spasms. Bumrah out due to a mild strain.
05.02 am: Australia XI: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade, Cameron Green, Tim Paine (c & wk), Pat Cummins, Mitch Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood
05.01 am: Australia have won the toss and elected to bat first against India.
04.52 am: Washington Sundar stayed back in Australia to bowl in the nets. His job was to keep bowling in the rough. Now, he is making his Test debut.
04.46 am: T Natarajan is going to be the 300th Test cricketer for India. What a story!
04.42 am: And here we go. Looks like we have debuts for Washington Sundar and T Natarajan.
04.38 am: Only one expected change for Australia.
04.34 am: The big questions for fans are all about the Indian Playing XI. Who will play? Who will have recovered from their injuries? Will Ashwin play? Will Bumrah play?
04.26 am: A big day for Nathan Lyon.
Preview: Injury-hit India head to Australia’s Gabba fortress for the final Test with high hopes of retaining the Border-Gavaskar trophy after securing an epic draw in Sydney to leave the series locked at 1-1.
The visitors only need to avoid defeat in Brisbane after their heroics in Sydney, when they batted out the final day against Australia’s much-vaunted bowling attack.
Australia have come under fire for captain Tim Paine’s sledging and accusations that Steve Smith deliberately scuffed up batsman Rishabh Pant’s guard during the tense fifth day. Allegations of racist abuse from the crowd also overshadowed the Test.
But Australia will be optimistic of snatching a series win at the Gabba, where they are unbeaten in more than three decades, especially as India have been hit by succession of injuries.
All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja became the latest ruled out on Wednesday after dislocating his left thumb in Sydney, while Indian media reported that fast-bowling spearhead Jasprit Bumrah could miss out with an abdominal strain.
The visitors were already without experienced quicks Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma, and batsman KL Rahul, while captain Virat Kohli is on paternity leave.
If Bumrah cannot play, their already inexperienced attack will be led by Mohammed Siraj, who has only played two Tests, alongside Navdeep Saini who made his debut at Sydney plus one of the uncapped T. Natarajan or Shardul Thakur.
They also have doubts over the fitness of number six batsman Hanuma Vihari, who tore his hamstring during his 161-ball vigil for 23 runs that helped earn the unlikely draw on Monday.
Fellow Sydney hero Ravi Ashwin, who spent more than three hours at the crease with Vihari in an unbroken sixth-wicket stand to save the game, has a back issue.
Despite the horror injury-run, India’s former great Sunil Gavaskar believes they can win in Brisbane, where crowds will be capped at 50 percent to guard against possible coronavirus infections.
“I know that the Gabba in Brisbane is Australia’s fortress but India have the ability to take on the Australians,” he told Indian media this week.
“They (Australia) have not lost there since 1988 but there is always a first time. If Ajinkya Rahane and company do it, I won’t be surprised at all.”