#360LIVE: Australia vs India 4th Test - Day 3

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Australia find themselves on top after two days' of play thanks to Steve Smith century which saw the hosts declare at 7/572. 

Meanwhile, India resume day three – Jane McGrath Day – on 1/71 on a batsman-friendly wicket at the SCG after Mitchell Starc struck early in the first over to remove Murali Vijay, leaving the visitor's reeling.

You can follow all the action LIVE here on Sport360.com.

– Smith joins greats as Australia pile pressure on India
– India lacked discipline & consistency, says bowling coach Arun

– Warner notches century in tribute of 'little mate' Hughes

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Pakistan name aggressive World Cup squad

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The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has decided to go up with a strong pace attack in the 2015 World Cup selecting five fast-bowlers in the 15-man touring party to fill the void left by Saeed Ajmal’s suspension.

– #Quiz360: WIN dinner for 2 at Media Rotana, Dubai

 Mohammad Akram: "Saeed Ajmal's career far from over"

PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan approved the squad picked up by the six-member selection committee headed by Moin Khan after consultations with head coach Waqar Younis and skipper Misbah ul Haq.

There is no place for old horses Shoaib Malik and Kamran Akmal despite doing well in recent domestic events and selectors have kept faith with Umar Akmal and Sohaib Maqsood instead while leg-spinner Yasir Shah has also been included.

Pacer Sohail Khan has come in as a very late inclusion after doing tremendously well in the domestic cricket picking up 64 wickets in Quaid-e-Azam Trophy – premier first-class competition – while he also claimed four and six-wicket hauls in 50-over Pentangular Cup staged to pick up players for World Cup.

The only surprise is the exclusion of an fast-bowling allrounder in either Anwar Ali or Bilawal Bhatti.

“This is the best possible squad from the available resources, and the selectors believe it has the requisite talent and skill-set to recapture the World Cup Down Under after 22 years”, said chief selector Moin Khan.

‘’My request to all Pakistanis is to back the national team in its quest for glory. Four factors were of prime import for selectors: Suitability to play in conditions in Australia and New Zealand; performance in international contests; performance in domestic cricket and preference to the choices suggested by captain and head coach.”

The squad contains two openers, four middle order batsmen, five pace bowlers, one spinner, two all-rounders and a wicket-keeper/batsman.

Moin further added that selectors have preferred specialists over bits and pieces players.

“Of the selected squad of 15, eight have played in the last World Cup, while the remaining seven have been picked after their recent form impressed the selectors. This makes it a pretty decent blend of experience and youth. Despite a recent poor run of form in limited-overs cricket, in my mind, there’s no doubt on the capability of this side to excelling in the World Cup,” Moin stated.

“It indeed is a formidable unit, with the potential and natural flair to perform well at the ICC’s premier global showpiece event. And if the boys hit form individually and as combinations and peak at the right time, this bunch has the capacity to go all the way to the winners’ podium.”
 

 15-member squad: (In alphabetical order)

Ahmed Shehzad, Ehsan Adil, Mohammad Hafeez, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Irfan, Junaid Khan, Misbah ul Haq (captain), Sarfraz Ahmed (w.k), Shahid Afridi, Sohaib Maqsood, Sohail Khan, Umar Akmal, Wahab Riaz, Yasir Shah, Younis Khan

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Sublime Smith helps Aussies pressure India

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Leading by example: Steve Smith hit another century against India.

Steve Smith joined the greats with his fourth century of the series as India hung in after the shock loss of an early wicket on the second day of the final Test in Sydney.

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The Aussie skipper became only the third batsman along with Don Bradman and Jacques Kallis to score tons in four consecutive Tests in the same series as his team posted a total beyond 500 for the fourth Test running.

Smith contributed 117 in Australia's first innings declaration of 572 for seven before the tourists were rocked by the third-ball dismissal of opener Murali Vijay for a duck.

At the close, India had stabilised at 71 for one to trail Australia by 501 with Lokesh Rahul on 31 and Rohit Sharma hitting two sixes on his way to 40 not out.

"I thought our whole top six played really well," Smith said.

"We've relied a lot on the tail in the last couple of Test matches and I said the batters had to step up in this match.

"The whole top six got above fifty which I don't think has happened before. That's outstanding for us.

"It's not the kind of wicket I think where you can blast sides out. It's about staying patient and hopefully the patience pays off."

Left-armer Mitchell Starc, bowling with fire and rhythm, slanted one across Vijay and coaxed a snick to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.

Starc may be in disciplinary trouble for giving Vijay a big send-off, roaring in his face and waving his fists in a fiery opening over as Mitchell Johnson's injury replacement.

But the day belonged to Smith, who added another century to his unbeaten 162 in Adelaide, 133 in Brisbane and 192 in Melbourne in this series.

"It's been a pretty special summer for me personally, obviously with some of the results that I've got," Smith said.

"But look, I always put the team first, I think the success the team has had over the last little bit has been outstanding and we're in another good position in this Test match."

Australia passed 500 for the fourth Test of the series, a feat last registered against the Garry Sobers-led West Indies at home in 1968-69. 

Smith was out just before lunch when he was caught behind off Umesh Yadav ending his 208-ball knock spiced with 15 fours.

Purple patch  

He has 698 runs in the series at an average of 139.6, placing him third behind Bradman (715) and Ricky Ponting (706) for most runs in a series against India.

Smith is having an extraordinary purple patch and has now scored six centuries in the first innings of his last seven Tests at home.

Watson again missed out on what would have been only his fifth Test century when, on a flat SCG wicket, he had another brain snap and hoisted Mohammed Shami straight to Ravichandran Ashwin at deep midwicket for 81.

Watson has now scored 24 half-centuries but just four tons in 56 Tests, with his last Test hundred coming against England in Perth in December 2013.

He toiled for 250 minutes and faced 183 balls in putting on 196 runs for the third wicket with Smith.

Shaun Marsh added 73 to his 99 in Melbourne before he was caught behind off Shami nearing tea. Marsh batted for 116 balls with nine fours and a six.

Joe Burns, playing in his second Test, was well caught by Rahul in the deep for 58 off 114 balls and Ryan Harris roused the crowd with a lusty 25 off nine balls before the declaration. 

It was hard going on the unresponsive SCG pitch for India's bowlers with Shami finishing with five for 112 off 28.3 overs.

India have already lost the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with Australia holding an unassailable 2-0 lead following wins in Adelaide and Brisbane.

The tourists have won only one of their last 22 Tests overseas and have been successful in only one of their 10 Tests at the Sydney Cricket Ground, that sole victory coming 37 years ago.

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