Nathan Lyon has drawn the ire of Indian cricket fans after a hot-headed moment on day three at the Gabba.
Australia thought they were heading for a massive first innings lead on Sunday after reducing India to 6-186 in response to the hosts’ total of 369.
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But an extraordinary partnership of 123 from rookies Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur swung the momentum back in India’s favour and allowed them to push their total up to 336.
The Aussies became visibly frustrated as Sundar and Thakur continued to whittle Australia’s lead away, but none more than Aussie off-spinner Lyon.
The Australian talisman pegged the ball at Sundar in frustration following an over in which the Indian had slogged an incredible no-look six over the mid-wicket boundary.
Sundar had to duck for cover after Lyon whistled the ball past his head to wicketkeeper Tim Paine, leaving Indian fans fuming.
Jeers and whistles were heard around the Gabba as Lyon stared down Sundar, while fans were also unhappy on social media.
“Lyon targeting Washington head in frustration.. disgusting from a 100th test match player..didn't even bother to apologise..why is there no outrage over this?” one fan wrote on Twitter.
Lyon targeting Washington head in frustration.. disgusting from a 100th test match player..didn't even bother to apologise..why is there no outrage over this? pic.twitter.com/28M6VMPDlf
— Yatharth gupta (@yoyoyatharth) January 17, 2021
Yeah aussies such ruthless and shameless people. They are hypocrites who don't maintain what they say in press conferences. Lyon was absolutely angry because he didn't get a wicket and Sundar/Shardul were taking him for runs. It was very unprofessional to throw the ball at Sundar
— SpeaknStand4Truth (@GodLightTruth) January 17, 2021
Frustrated Nathan Lyon playing 100th test, tried to hit a debutant Washington Sundar on his head.
In response Sundar hit Lyon for infamous "no look six" 😎
Sit Down Lyon. #AusvsInd pic.twitter.com/TmGhDL38Cn
— Shubman Gill 👨🏻🚀 (@TheRobustRascal) January 17, 2021
That six was spectacular, Sundar!
Lyon asked for it when he hurled that ball at you.
Well played 👍🏻
— Nirav J (@NiravJ7) January 17, 2021
— Athul Mohan (@athul019) January 17, 2021
— R A T N I S H (@LoyalSachinFan) January 17, 2021
Aussies hoping weather holds off in Brisbane
Tim Paine’s team must win the Gabba Test to end India’s four-year hold of the Border-Gavaskar trophy.
That challenge became more imposing when Sundar and Thakur shifted momentum in scarcely-believable fashion, even by the standards set in a topsy-turvy series level at 1-1.
Wet weather, which washed out Saturday’s final session and is forecast to interrupt days four and five, has added another degree of urgency.
The timing of Monday’s declaration, presuming Australia are in a position to make one, will be one of the biggest calls of Paine's captaincy.
“Probably depends on who bats. If Davey (Warner) bats for a long time then things happen pretty quickly,” Josh Hazlewood said after snaring 5-57.
“It'll be pretty similar to maybe Sydney; three and a half or maybe four sessions (to bowl India out).
“It probably all depends on the weather as well ... that could come into calculations. But we'll just bat normally for the first two sessions and see where we're at.”
Hazlewood insisted he, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc are physically ready for one final lion-hearted effort, adding that Australia were well placed in the final Test despite “a bit of frustration” about Sundar and Thakur’s digs.
“We've got a nice little lead,” he said.
“We're still well ahead of the game.”
Thakur’s rollicking 67 belied a first-class batting average of 16, while Sundar’s composed 62 was likewise stunning.
It was the latest sign an inexperienced Indian XI, in which Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane are the only members who also took part in the series-opening defeat, will not buckle despite the absence of captain Virat Kohli and other key personnel.
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