Harbhajan puts India on brink of series victory

India 441 & 0-0 Australia 355
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The Independent Online

India lead Australia by 86 runs going into today's fourth day of the series-deciding Fourth Test after dismissing the visitors for 355. India ended day three on 0 for 0 after Virender Sehwag safely negotiated one over.

The off-spinner Harbhajan Singh led a tight Indian bowling performance to counter the hard-working efforts of Michael Hussey and Simon Katich. Hussey edged the visitors closer to India's 441 with a 229-ball knock of 90 after Katich added his fifth Test century, but the hosts hold the upper hand.

Hussey and Katich dragged the team slowly to 229 for 2 before India took three wickets in the middle session. Australia's all-rounder Cameron White steered a lower-order fightback with 46, but the end of the inn-ings came when he holed out to deep mid-on off Harbhajan and Mitchell Johnson followed in a similar manner. Harbhajan finished with figures of 3 for 94, while the leg-spinner Amit Mishra collected 2 for 58.

India, needing only a draw to claim the series, employed defensive tactics with their pacemen throughout the day and slowly wore down the batsmen. Australia scored just 42 runs in the morning session for the loss of Katich, managed 49 between lunch and tea, and collected another 75 before the innings ended shortly before stumps.

Hussey sweated over his 12th Test half-century and narrowlymissed reaching three figures when he was run out by a brilliant piece of fielding from the rookie Murali Vijay.