Team India will be relieved by the fact that wicketkeeper batsman Rishabh Pant has not fractured his elbow, and is likely to be available for batting in their second innings.
The 23-year-old was struck on the elbow by a short-ball from Pat Cummins during the 85th over of India’s first innings in the third Test in Sydney.
Rishabh Pant was on his knees almost immediately and called the physio to check on him. After having pain-killers and a strapping, the southpaw was ready to resume his innings.
However, Rishabh Pant clearly looked unsettled by the blow and soon departed for 36, chasing a wide ball from Josh Hazlewood. It was his wicket that opened the floodgates for the Aussies, as India suffered yet another batting collapse.
From 195-4, the visitors could manage to add just 49 runs as they got bowled out for 244, handing a crucial 94-run lead to the hosts.
On a pitch that didn’t offer much help to either pace or spin, Team India gifted wickets to the opposition through some careless run-outs and questionable shot selection.
Apart from Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja was also taken to the hospital for scans
Team India’s injury woes continued as all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was struck on his thumb by a short-ball from Mitchell Starc. Although he carried on batting until the end of the Indian innings, the 32-year-old did not take the field during Australia’s second innings.
While Team India had Wriddhiman Saha to replace Rishabh Pant as a wicketkeeper, they missed Jadeja’s bowling ability. He played no further part on day three and is unlikely to bowl for the visitors.
Jadeja was also taken to the hospital for scans to check for a possible fractured thumb. This was a huge blow for India as Jadeja was their strike bowler in the first innings, picking up figures of 4-62.
He is also a gun fielder, as evidenced by his crucial run-out of Steve Smith in the first innings. Jadeja’s absence was felt in the second innings as Team India could not pick up more than two wickets on day three.
Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne dictated terms to the Indian bowlers and have already added 68 runs for the third wicket. The visitors will be hoping that Jadeja’s injury is not too serious and that he returns to bowl on day four.
With the lead already closing in on the 200-run mark, both Smith and Labuschagne will try to bat Team India out of the SCG Test.
On the other hand, the visitors will be looking for an early flurry of wickets on the fourth day to remain alive in the game.
Published 09 Jan 2021, 17:51 IST