Marnus Labuschagne scored a century that helped Australia take control of the fourth and final Test of the series against India in Brisbane.
Australia’s No. 3 has enjoyed a run-laden summer to date and continued that form into the deciding Test, striking a century that could prove to be decisive in the final analysis.
India will rue not taking their chances to dismiss him. They dropped him twice, the one chance, when he was on just 38, in particular will haunt skipper Ajinkya Rahane, grassed an easy catch in the slip cordon.
Labuschagne’s innings was critical as once more Australia’s openers failed to contribute. Davide Warner was out on the final ball of the first over, while Marcus Harris flew shortly thereafter, leaving the hosts reeling at 17/2.
Labuschagne and Steve Smith set about rebuilding the innings, sharing a 70-run partnership before Smith lost concentration and chipped a soft catch to Rohit Sharma at short mid-wicket.
However, Matthew Wade proved to be an able accomplice to Labuschagne. The pair played beautifully in their 113-run stand, during which time an inexperienced India attack, who were also deprived of the services of Navdeep Saini through an injury he sustained in his eighth over, never looked like making a breakthrough.
It took a misjudged Wade shot to break the stand, and Labuschagne (108) followed soon thereafter, debutant Thangarasu Natarajan taking both wickets.
That, however, is as good as it got for the tourists. Time Paine (38*) and Cameron Green (28*) saw play out to stumps with Australia in a strong position at 274/5.