The rain and gloom around the Sydney Cricket Ground which dominated play on day 4 mirrored the mood of the Australian cricket team, who were now on the threshold of losing a series to an Asian nation for the first time ever. When play did happen, Kuldeep Yadav spun a web and picked up a five-wicket haul in his first Test in Australia, giving India a 322-run lead. After 33 years, India had enforced the follow-on in Australia. Coincidentally, when it happened the first time in 1986, the venue was Sydney. However, bad light and rain returned and only 25.2 overs were possible on the fourth day of the final Test on Sunday.
When rain washed out the entire first session, the dynamics centered on how Virat Kohli would approach the situation considering that he had nothing to lose. When play resumed, Mohammed Shami got a delivery to stay low to breach the defences of Pat Cummins (25), who had once again shown tremendous application like the way he did in Melbourne. Peter Handscomb tackled Kuldeep brilliantly by sweeping and whipping him for two boundaries but once Jasprit Bumrah got Handscomb (36) inside-edging back onto the stumps, the tail was exposed.
Kuldeep trapped Nathan Lyon (0) with a flighted delivery and the batsman missed the sweep. The chinaman should have gotten his fifth immediately afterwards when Josh Hazlewood miscued a slog to midwicket only for Hanuma Vihari to spill the chance. Hazlewood and Starc proceeded to frustrate Kohli’s push for an early enforcement of the follow-on as they stitched a 42-run stand. However, Kuldeep finally had his fifer when he trapped Hazlewood (21) in front with a quicker delivery that skid through. His haul of 5/99 was his second five-wicket haul in his career and he became only the second Indian left-arm spinner and the first chinaman bowler to take a five-wicket haul in Australia after Bishan Singh Bedi.
Australia were bowled out for 300 and India, armed with a massive lead, enforced the follow-on with both Marcus Harris and Usman Khawaja surviving some tricky overs. However, with the light deteriorating, early tea was taken but the rain ensured no further play was possible. The weather is expected to remain the same tomorrow as well, but it is just a mere formality as Kohli and his Indian cricket team etches their names in the history books.