The first cricket Test between Australia and India in Bangalore is set for an exciting conclusion, after a seesawing fourth day.
Australia were again frustrated by the Indian tail, with Zaheer Khan posting an unbeaten half-century as the Indian total crept up to 360, a deficit of just 70 runs on the Australian first-innings total.
During the Australian second innings, conditions made batting tough, and the Indian bowlers were intent on claiming early wickets to give themselves a chance of victory. They got their wish when Matthew Hayden departed for 13, the victim of an iffy lbw decision. Ponting went 10 overs later for 17, and the Aussies found themselves struggling at 2-49. Mike Hussey and Simon Katich set about gradually rebuilding the innings, combining for a 50-run partnership, before Katich went for a gritty 34.
It sparked a mini-collapse for Australia, who then lost Michael Clarke and Hussey in rapid succession. With Australia battling at 5-128, the Indians sensed that a few more quick wickets would put them in a winning position. Fortunately for the tourists, Brad Haddin and Shane Watson were able to steady the ship, adding 65 runs in the lengthening shadows to shepherd the Aussies to 5-193 at stumps.With a lead of 263 runs, Australia seems set to bat on in the fifth day, before declaring once they feel they have a sufficient lead. The result will then depend on the ability of the Aussie bowlers to knock over the Indian batsmen.