In the final session on day four of the fourth Test, with rain playing spoilsport, the Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill could face just 1.5 overs before the umpires decided to call for early stumps. India needs 324 runs on the final day with 10 wickets in the bag at Australia’s fortress The Gabba.
“India’s resilience has got to give up at some stage. They can’t keep doing what they’ve been doing, being so resilient, and tomorrow it might be that day. The last day of the series, potentially playing for another draw, I’ve just got a feeling that something’s got to give. And Australia on the other hand, they know they have to go flat out and give everything to win the series,” Ponting told cricket.com.au on Monday.
“I think a drawn series will be worse than the loss a couple of years ago. That’s the way I look at it, considering how hard India has found it going through 20 players in a series, (Australia) having Warner back for the last couple of games, Smith back for all them that they didn’t have last time around. A draw would not only feel like a loss to them but be a worse result than the last series,” he added.
01:334th Test in balance as rain halts Australia’s victory push
When asked whether India can chase down the total on the final day, Ponting said: “The first hour of play will be the most important for them. Not if they don’t lose wickets, they have to actually get away and start scoring reasonably quickly. Ninety-eight overs tomorrow, 324 still to get so they’re going to have to score at a rate that they haven’t scored in the series so far.
“Rohit and Gill are every chance to get them off to a good start. If they do that I think they might use Rishabh Pant up the order again, as they did in Sydney because if it does get down to a run chase and India are behind the required run rate early on I can’t see how Pujara is going to be the guy to drag them back into the chase. It’s going to be intriguing to me to see if they come out with the thought of trying to win the game or if they’re happy to try and defend and sit on it and block the day out and not even entertain going for the runs. That story will be told pretty early on in the day tomorrow,” he added.
On the fourth day, Australia was bundled out for 294, setting a target of 328 in front of India. For the visitors, Mohammad Siraj scalped five wickets in the second innings while Steve Smith top-scored for the hosts.