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India star pulling Australia’s ‘Pants’ down

Despite nursing an arm injury, Rishabh Pant has exploded at the SCG to give India a chance at pulling off one of the most famous Test victories ever. JOIN THE LIVE BLOG Joe BartonNews Corp Australia Sports Newsroom January 11, 2021 1:33PM LIVE Last updated January 11, 2021 1:24PM AEDT Jasprit Bumrah had every right…

Despite nursing an arm injury, Rishabh Pant has exploded at the SCG to give India a chance at pulling off one of the most famous Test victories ever. JOIN THE LIVE BLOG

Joe Barton

News Corp Australia Sports Newsroom

January 11, 2021 1:33PM

LIVE

Last updated January 11, 2021 1:24PM AEDT

Jasprit Bumrah had every right to sulk, shout, kick the ground and throw a massive tantrum in the middle of the SCG as his teammates shelled chance after chance that fell their way.

Instead, he took his frustration out on the bails at the non-striker’s end – knocking them off as he wandered back to the top of his mark, and earning a death stare from umpire Paul Reiffel for his actions.

The leader of India’s attack has taken on an increasing workload and responsibility as first Mohammed Shami (broken arm) and then Umesh Yadav (calf) fell by the wayside.

And his reward for that? Dropped catches galore. All his effort and precision wasted.

India resume on day five at the SCG 2-98, still 309 runs shy of what would be a record breaking run chase victory, after Australia built on their first innings lead in part thanks to some generous Indian fielding.

Yesterday Bumrah began second Australian innings ready to take on the Herculean task of dragging India back into the decisive third Test – taking the ball to start the day, and extracting an error from Marnus Labuschagne with just his second ball.

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The Australian No.3 flicked a rising delivery off his hip and into the breadbasket of Hanuma Vihari at square leg – only to be given a reprieve as the out-of-sorts tourist spilled his lollies and gave Labuschagne a life.

Bumrah clasped both hands and covered his face in frustration. Who could blame him.

When, later, Tim Paine tried to drive a full delivery off Bumrah – but only sent it to a fumbling Rohit Sharma at a wide first slip who shelled another chance.

For the second time today, Bumrah cut a frustrated figure.

“You’ve got to feel for him he’s bowling his heart out, he’s the leader of the attack and he’s a wonderful bowler,” Fox Cricket’s Shane Warne said.

“He couldn’t believe it. Second ball of the day today… that was a huge moment. A real deflator.”

It continued a miserable theme for Bumrah, who has watched teammates butcher six chances which have come their way off his bowling this series.

No bowler has endured similar misfortune across the first three Tests – despite sloppy displays in the field by each side at various points this series.

“It’s easy to get frustrated as a bowler – that’s why you’ve got to take your hat off to Bumrah (because) he’s always smiling,” Warne added.

“I’m sure deep down he’s frustrated but there’s not much you can do about that. You’ve just got to keep saying ‘all I can do is keep bowling well, keep creating chances and one day it evens itself out’.”

Australia’s quicks, having already removed openers Shubman Gill (31) and Rohit Sharma (52), will expect no such profligacy from their teammates on a wearing pitch, as they go in search fo the eight remaining wickets needed to confirm victory in Sydney.

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