PERTH • Australia is poised for their first Test match win since the ball-tampering scandal that led to lengthy suspensions for then captain Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and batsman Cameron Bancroft.
Set 287 to win on an unpredictable pitch, India were reduced to 112 for five at stumps on the fourth day yesterday after spinner Nathan Lyon claimed the prized wicket of India captain Virat Kohli in the second Test in Perth.
Hanuma Vihari was 24 not out and Rishabh Pant was on nine, leaving the visitors needing 175 from just five wickets as Australia seek to level the four-Test series.
Since beating South Africa at St George's Park in March, the hosts have not secured a Test victory, but Australian paceman Josh Hazlewood revealed they were excited by the chance of an overdue victory on the fifth day today.
"It has been a bit of a long time between wins," he said. "We're pretty excited to come back tomorrow.
"There is still a bit of work to be done, there is obviously enough there in the wicket and we just have to hit the right areas."
India lead 1-0 after victory in Adelaide, but have never won a Test series in Australia and the loss of Kohli appeared to deal a fatal blow to their chances of a famous win.
Number of times Nathan Lyon has taken the wicket of Virat Kohli.
Lyon dismissed Kohli for the seventh time in Test cricket, two more than any other bowler, when he had him caught at slip by Usman Khawaja for 17.
Kohli was unable to repeat the heroics of his first innings century, the ball catching the outside edge as he probed forward defensively.
His departure was the cause of great delight for Australian captain Tim Paine, after the pair had exchanged words at the conclusion of the third day.
The Australian wicketkeeper, looking for his first win as skipper in five Tests since taking over from the disgraced Smith, celebrated the dismissal with a cheeky comment to not out batsman Murali Vijay.
"Murali, I know he's your captain, but you can't seriously like him as a bloke," Paine said.
Just two overs later, Vijay was also on his way back to the pavilion, bowled off an inside edge by Lyon, who took two for 30. The pair of wickets continued a fine match for Lyon, who picked up five in the Indian first innings to move into the top 25 all-time Test wicket-takers with 333.
AUSTRALIA V INDIA
2nd Test, Day 5: Singtel TV Ch123 & StarHub Ch236, 10.20am