By Shobhit Nanda
Melbourne: The Bharat Army was out in force on Day 4 of boxing day test match between India vs Australia at the MCG. The entertainment was on with regular banter, drums and a lot of enthusiastic slogans. An interesting bantar in the form of a song was performed when Australia’s number 3 batsman, Usman Khawaja, resumed his innings after lunch. As he walked out of the dugout, the Bharat army started singing in hindi – “Khawaja mere Khawaja, Jaldi Wapas Aaaja” which translates to “Khawaja my Khawaja, come back quickly (by getting out)”, twisting the words of a song in the famous Bollywood movie – Jodha Akabar. Khawaja who is of Pakistani decent would have been able to understand hindi as it is very similar to Urdu, the native language of Pakistan. Khawaja did not last long in the middle, as he was found himself out leg before wicket by a skidding delivery from Indian bowler Shami, plumb in front.
Australia has a mountain to climb, chasing 399 in their 2nd innings to win or play rest of Day 4 and Day 5 to draw the game. Both days have rain predicted and the Aussies will be hoping for some rain to help their cause as there is so much time left in the game and the wicket will keep breaking up to make the lives of the batsman harder. It would require some batting for the Aussies to prevent an Indian victory.
India in the morning came out with intent to score some quick runs before declaring, after losing 5 wickets in the last session on Day 3. They had the choice of enforcing the followon on Day 3 but made a choice not to, to ensure Australia bats last on the deteriorating wicket. Rishab Pant (33) and Mayank Pandey (42) did the bulk of the scoring in the morning session to take the second innings score to 106/6 before the declaration about 1 hour into the first session.
At drinks during the second session, Australia were 3/95, still requiring 304 additional runs for an improbable victory.