David Warner has apologised to the India team and said he would "expect better" from Australia fans after the tourists were allegedly subjected to racial abuse at the SCG.

Six people were ejected from the iconic Sydney venue on day four after India paceman Mohammed Siraj reported he was the target of abuse while he was fielding on the boundary.

The tourists also reported alleged racial abuse of Jasprit Bumrah and Siraj on Saturday.

Play came to a halt around 10 minutes on Sunday, with umpires and security guards holding discussions before the spectators were removed by New South Wales Police.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) strongly condemned the reported incidents and offered Cricket Australia (CA) all necessary support with an investigation.

India showed great application to bat out for a draw on the final day and Australia opener Warner offered praise along with an apology to Ajinkya Rahane's side on Tuesday ahead of the series decider at The Gabba.

He posted on Instagram: "It was great to be back out on the park again this week.

"Was not the ideal result for us but this is what Test cricket is all about. 5 days of tough cricket and well done to our guys for working as hard as we could, congrats to India in the way they fought hard for the draw, and that's why we love this game, it's not easy.

"Move onto Brisbane now for the decider and what a place the Gabba is to play at.

"I’d also like to say sorry to @mohammedsirajofficial and the Indian team as racism, and abuse is not in any way acceptable or tolerated anywhere at any time, and I would expect better from our home crowd."

Tim Paine declared he fell short of the standards he sets for himself as Australia captain during the ill-tempered third Test draw against India.

Wicketkeeper Paine shelled three catches as Australia toiled on the final day, with India batting out to a draw in relative comfort as the teams shook hands with the score 334-5 in the fourth innings at the SCG on Monday.

Ravichandran Ashwin finished unbeaten on 39 and was involved in spiteful verbal battle with Paine, which concluded with the gloveman calling him a "d*******".

Australia's conduct as their victory hopes slipped away has come under scrutiny after footage appeared to show former skipper Steve Smith trying to scrub out Rishabh Pant's guard marks on the crease during a thrilling counter-attacking innings of 97 in Sydney.

Having acknowledged his failings after the match, along with being fined 15 per cent of his match fee for showing dissent to umpire Paul Wilson on day three, Smith's successor Paine felt the need to address the media again on Tuesday as his conduct remained a talking point.

"I want to apologise for the way I went about things. I'm someone who prides themselves on the way I lead this team and yesterday was a poor reflection of the team," Paine said.

"I let the pressure of the game get to me. It affected my mood and from there, it affected my performance.

"Initially I reflected purely on my wicketkeeping. Last night I reflected on the whole game.

"I've had a really poor game as a leader. I'm a captain who wants to enjoy the game and wants to play the game with a smile on their face. I fell short of my expectations and our team's standards.

"I'm human. I want to apologise for the mistakes I made. It's certainly not a reflection of the way I want to lead this team. We've set high standards over the last few months and yesterday was a blip on the radar and something that I felt that I needed to come out and address.

"I feel that my mood throughout probably the whole Test match was a bit off. The way I spoke to the umpires early on day two was also unacceptable.

"I've got to cop that on the chin. It's not the way I want to lead this Australian team. It's certainly not a reflection of how I want to do it going forward.

"I apologise to our fans and people who heard some of the things I said, it wasn't good enough and particularly from the leader of this team."

The series is level at 1-1 heading into this week's decider at the Gabba in Brisbane, starting Friday.

"I'm really looking forward to getting to Brisbane and bouncing back and playing the game more like Tim Paine plays the game," Paine added. "Yesterday was a poor reflection of that and not something I want to be known for."

India face a host of fitness issues ahead of the quick turnaround in Brisbane.

Ravindra Jadeja is out with a broken thumb, while Pant (arm), Ashwin (back), Cheteshwar Pujara (finger) and Hanuma Vihari (hamstring) must all be assessed, with the latter a major doubt.

Fair or foul? Gamesmanship or unsportsmanlike conduct? Steve Smith found himself in the spotlight after his actions on the final day of the third Test between Australia and India in Sydney.

Smith was at his best with the bat in the match, making scores of 131 and 81 as he returned to form in style after a recent lean spell.

However, it may well be his footwork during Monday's final day will overshadow what he achieved during the rest of the Test.

With India battling to save the game, stump camera footage seen on social media showed Smith standing at the crease during a break in proceedings, the Australian shaping up as if he was batting, including marking a guard.

His actions at the crease forced India's Rishabh Pant to retake his own guard before play resumed, with the moment becoming a hot topic on Twitter.

"Tried all tricks including Steve Smith trying to remove Pant's batting guard marks from the crease," former India batsman Virender Sehwag wrote to accompany the footage that was seen on the international feed of the broadcast.

Retweeting Sehwag's post, ex-England captain Michael Vaughan added: "This is very very poor from Steve Smith!!". Meanwhile, David Lloyd, who played and coached England before becoming a television commentator, wrote: "How childish".

Pant did not seem too perturbed by what happened, however, going on to make 97 as India impressively secured a draw.

Smith was sacked as Australia captain following the ball-tampering scandal during the tour of South Africa in 2018. Along with team-mate David Warner, he was banned for 12 months from international and domestic cricket for his involvement in the incident.

Cameron Bancroft, who was the player caught by television cameras appearing to use sandpaper to alter the condition of the ball during the third Test against the Proteas at Newlands, was handed a nine-month suspension.

Tim Paine, who took over as skipper of the Test side, was also trending on social media after a verbal exchange with India's Ravichandran Ashwin during the final session of play at the SCG.

Ashwin pulled away before a delivery as he and Paine shared words, their conversation picked up by the stump microphone.

England paceman Stuart Broad pointed out on Twitter that such situations are "part of the game" during a Test match, though did suggest Paine's use of an expletive could land him in trouble.

The wicketkeeper was indeed fined after the game, though lost 15 per cent of his match fee as punishment for dissent after questioning an umpiring decision during day three of the match.

Ashwin ended up unbeaten on 39 to help India survive and remain level at 1-1 in the series ahead of the final game in Brisbane.

Tim Paine acknowledged he needed to "set a better example" for those watching on after the Australia captain was fined for showing dissent at an umpiring decision in the third Test against India.

India managed to lose just three wickets as they secured a draw on a dramatic final day in Sydney, leaving the series delicately poised at 1-1 with the one game to play.

Australia missed chances in the field and wicketkeeper Paine, who dropped three catches behind the stumps, became involved in a verbal exchange with India's Ravichandran Ashwin that was caught on the stump microphone.

However, he was punished by the International Cricket Council for an incident that happened on the third day, having questioned a decision to umpire Paul Wilson.

Paine - who was fined 15 per cent of his match fee, as well as having one demerit point added to his disciplinary record - admitted the offence, making clear in his post-match press conference that he did not mean to be disrespectful to Wilson.

"We all know that the stump microphones are part of the broadcast. It's great to bring the viewers that close, [for them] to be able to hear it," he told the media.

"I probably set a pretty poor example with my use of language. I'm certainly disappointed with myself after I heard that.

"We know we've got to be careful. I've known and had Paul umpiring me for some time, I certainly didn't mean to be disrespectful to him. It was just a heat-of-the-moment audible obscenity, I think that's what I've been done for. 

"I need to be better than that. I know that the stump mics are on and I know it's part of the game. 

"There are lots of kids watching the Australia Test team  - I need to set a better example than that."

Paine's frustration came after a not out decision by on-field umpire Wilson following appeals for a catch at short leg, with the call not being overturned following the use of the DRS.

Addressing the incident again later in his media duties, he said: "I think we do want to take the game as close to the fans and spectators as we can. At times, when the stump mics are on, that's going to happen. 

"We try our best but we are not perfect. If the worst thing we have done is let the odd f-bomb go, then I think we're doing okay."

Australia and India now move on to Brisbane for the series decider, with the fourth Test going ahead after the Board of Control for Cricket in India received assurances over quarantine restrictions amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Tim Paine admitted he let Australia's bowlers down with three dropped catches as India ground out an unlikely draw in the third Test at the SCG.

India resumed day five on 98-2 with a victory target of 407 and they appeared to be sliding towards defeat when Nathan Lyon dismissed captain Ajinkya Rahane for four.

However, Rishabh Pant gave the tourists hope of pulling off the upset with a phenomenal knock despite dealing with an elbow injury, benefiting from being put down by Paine off Lyon on three and 56.

Lyon removed Pant three runs shy of his century and after Cheteshwar Pujara (77) fell to Josh Hazlewood, heroic defence from Hanuma Vihari (23 off 161 balls) and Ravichandran Ashwin (39 off 128) after the former tweaked his hamstring saw India over the line.

Paine also spilled Vihari on 15 late in the final session when he dived to his right, with India sitting at 334-5 at stumps to keep the series level at 1-1 ahead of the fourth Test at the Gabba, which begins on Friday.

"I'm bitterly disappointed, I pride myself on my wicketkeeping," said Australia captain Paine.

"I haven't had too many worse days than that today, it's a horrible feeling knowing our fast bowlers and our spinner bowled their hearts out and gave everything to the team.

"I certainly feel I let them down. I have to wear that, but I'll get another crack at it next week so move on.

"We created enough chances to win. I wouldn't say it's deflating, I thought there was a lot of positives out of the game and it was an awesome game of Test cricket.

"India fought bloody hard like we knew they would, clearly we are disappointed not to get a win but thought there were some good signs for us after the Melbourne Test."

Rahane praised Pant for boosting India on a daunting final day and the India skipper is confident the wicketkeeper-batsman will be fit for the fourth Test.

"Yeah, credit to him [Pant]. I mean, we made the strategy, but in the end it's all about that player showing the character," Rahane said.

"It was all about a left-hand-right-hand combination in the middle that worked out really well for us. Credit to him, the way he batted, attacking innings, backed himself really well.

"Rishabh is all right. Injuries, I think, we cannot control. We are just focusing on the Brisbane Test match. [Ravindra] Jadeja, the physios are going to take the call, but apart from that, we have to see how Vihari is feeling. Looking forward to Brisbane now."

India held firm to deny Australia and secure an incredible draw in the third Test in Sydney on Monday.

Australia looked in position to take a 2-1 series lead, needing eight wickets on the final day at the SCG, but were left frustrated by a stubborn India batting line-up and costly dropped catches.

Rishabh Pant (97), Cheteshwar Pujara (77), Hanuma Vihari (23 off 161 balls) and Ravichandran Ashwin (39 off 128 balls) helped ensure India were level heading into the final Test in Brisbane starting on Friday.

The SCG pitch played few tricks on day five, and Pant even had India dreaming of an amazing win, the tourists eventually finishing at 334-5, 73 runs adrift of a victory they stopped chasing after Vihari hurt his hamstring.

Josh Hazlewood (2-39) and Nathan Lyon (2-114) made breakthroughs, but Australia were unable to do enough in a Test they looked destined to win as Tim Paine dropped three catches.

Australia landed an early blow as Lyon had Ajinkya Rahane (4) caught at short leg by Matthew Wade.

But Pant – who suffered an elbow injury on Saturday – was put down twice by Paine, on three and 56, off Lyon, and he counter-attacked superbly to put the pressure on the off-spinner.

Pujara brought up 6,000 Test runs, the 11th Indian to achieve the feat as he continued to frustrate Australia.

Pant looked capable of leading India to a shock victory before falling just short of a third Test century, caught by Pat Cummins at gully after trying to attack Lyon again.

The second new ball brought a key wicket for Australia as Hazlewood produced a wonderful delivery to bowl Pujara.

 

A pair of reviews were unable to get Ashwin, who was dropped on 15, a diving Sean Abbott – on for the injured Will Pucovski (shoulder) – unable to hold onto a tough chance.

Vihari and Ashwin, showing no intent to score, remained stoic and defended well against an increasingly desperate Australia.

Paine dropped another chance after Vihari edged a Mitchell Starc (0-66) delivery and it proved to be the final opportunity as India held on for a draw.

The fourth Test between Australia and India is set to go ahead at the Gabba as scheduled, the hosts have confirmed.

Questions were raised over the location of the Test amid reports players would be forced into a hard quarantine and after Brisbane went into a three-day lockdown.

But with restrictions easing, the Test is set to go ahead as planned, beginning on Friday.

Cricket Australia interim chief executive officer Nick Hockley told SEN on Monday: "I had a call last night from the BCCI [Board of Control for Cricket in India] secretary, very late last night, and he confirmed that we are good to travel to Brisbane on Tuesday."

Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk also confirmed the Test was set to be played.

"Fingers crossed, it looks like everything is going ahead," she told a news conference.

"The Gabba will be filled to half the capacity and masks are mandatory for entering and for leaving and moving around the stadium, but if you're sitting there at your seat, you will not need to wear your mask because you are outside.

"If you're going along to the cricket, take your mask, put it on, most people will be coming by public transport anyway where you'll have to wear your mask."

The news came as Australia were attempting to take a 2-1 series lead to Brisbane as they closed in on victory in Sydney.

Virat Kohli called for "strict action" to be taken after India players claimed they were subjected to racial abuse by spectators during the third Test against Australia at the SCG.

Six people were ejected from the iconic Sydney venue on day four after India paceman Mohammed Siraj reported he was the target of abuse while he was fielding on the boundary.

The India team staff also reported alleged racial abuse of Jasprit Bumrah and Siraj on Saturday.

Play was halted for around 10 minutes on Sunday, with umpires and security guards holding discussions before the spectators were removed by New South Wales Police.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) strongly condemned the reported incidents and offered Cricket Australia (CA) all necessary support with an investigation.

India captain Kohli, who is back in his homeland as his wife is expecting a baby, said action must be taken as soon as possible.

He tweeted: "Racial abuse is absolutely unacceptable. Having gone through many incidents of really pathetic things said on the boundary Iines, this is the absolute peak of rowdy behaviour. It's sad to see this happen on the field.

"The incident needs to be looked at with absolute urgency and seriousness and strict action against the offenders should set things straight for once."

CA head of integrity and security Sean Carroll earlier said in a statement: "Cricket Australia condemns in the strongest terms possible all discriminatory behaviour.

"If you engage in racist abuse, you are not welcome in Australian cricket. CA is awaiting the outcome of the International Cricket Council's investigation into the matter reported at the SCG on Saturday.

"Once those responsible are identified, CA will take the strongest measures possible under our anti-harassment code, including lengthy bans, further sanctions and referral to NSW Police.

"As series hosts, we unreservedly apologise to our friends in the Indian cricket team and assure them we will prosecute the matter to its fullest extent."

India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin claimed India have experienced abuse on previous tours of Australia.

"This is my fourth tour to Australia and in Sydney, especially, we have had a few experiences even in the past," he said.

"I think one or two times even the players have reacted and got into trouble in the past, and that's not because of the player, it is actually because of the way the crowd has been speaking, especially the people close to the boundary edge.

"They have been quite nasty, they have been hurling abuse as well, but this is the time they have gone one step ahead and used racial abuse.

"There was an official complaint lodged yesterday, and the umpires also mentioned it to us that we must bring it to their notice as soon as it happens, on the field, and then they will be able to take action.

"It is definitely not acceptable in this day and age. We have seen a lot, right? We have evolved as a society. This must be definitely dealt with an iron fist. And we must make sure that it doesn't happen again."

Australia are strong favourites to take a 2-1 series lead, as India were 98-2 at stumps on the penultimate day after being set 407 to win.

Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins took crucial wickets as Australia’s bowlers closed on victory on day four of the third Test against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

After Hazlewood removed Shubman Gill for 31 runs, Rohit Sharma fell to Cummins for 52 as an embattled India closed on 98-2, needing 309 more runs for an unlikely win.

Australia had declared on 312-6 after Cameron Green showcased some huge hitting in the afternoon session, surging to 84 off 183 balls, including eight fours and four sixes to set up a tense final session for India.

It was a day of Test cricket once again marred by a crowd incident with play delayed for eight minutes before the tea break while six people were ejected by New South Wales police after India's Mohammed Siraj issued a complaint of alleged abuse to the umpires.

Six people have been removed from the Sydney Cricket Ground on day four of the third test between Australia and India in Sydney.

Play was suspended for eight minutes before tea on Sunday as umpires and security guards attended the boundary area before the six were ejected from the venue by New South Wales Police.

Following the incident, Cricket Australia released a statement on the alleged racist abuse of the India team by a section of the SCG crowd on Saturday.

India’s Mohammed Siraj stopped play on day three to issue a complaint while fielding on the boundary during the afternoon session.

Cricket Austrlia confirmed the incident on Sunday while issuing their statement, although it is not known whether the incident on Sunday was related to racist abuse.

"Cricket Australia condemns in the strongest terms possible all discriminatory behaviour," said Sean Carroll, Cricket Australia’s Head of Integrity and Security, in the statement.

"If you engage in racist abuse, you are not welcome in Australian cricket.

"CA is awaiting the outcome of the International Cricket Council’s investigation into the matter reported at the SCG on Saturday.

"Once those responsible are identified, CA will take the strongest measures possible under our Anti-Harassment Code, including lengthy bans, further sanctions and referral to NSW Police.

"As series hosts, we unreservedly apologise to our friends in the Indian cricket team and assure them we will prosecute the matter to its fullest extent."

Pat Cummins jokingly compared Australia team-mate Josh Hazlewood to Jonty Rhodes after his run out against India on Saturday.

Hazlewood produced a spectacular piece of fielding to dismiss Hanuma Vihari on day three in Sydney, where Australia are well placed.

The paceman moved to his right at mid-off before quickly unleashing a throw while diving, catching Vihari well short of his ground.

Cummins compared the effort to something that might have been produced by Rhodes, the South African considered one of the best fielders of his time.

"Jonty Rhodes! How good was he. Unbelievable," Cummins told Fox Sports.

"Big fella still getting it done after bowling all day. Amazing. I'm sure he'll have that replay up tonight."

The effort drew comparisons to a similar run out by Cummins against India in Adelaide in 2018.

But Cummins had no doubt over whose was better.

"Great run out, well and truly on the podium, but he had fresh legs, he had three stumps to aim at, pretty early in the day, but other than that a pretty good effort I thought," he said.

Cummins took 4-29 as Australia dismissed India for 244 in response to their first-innings total of 338.

The hosts moved to 103-2 at stumps, a lead of 197 runs, to be in position to push for a 2-1 series lead.

Cummins said the SCG pitch, which showed signs of uneven bounce, was becoming difficult to bat on.

"It's a little bit up and down, today's day three, it's probably more like a day four or five wicket," he said.

"You've just got to throw the ego out the door and just bowl straight. It's going to be a slow grind, set some straight fields, and just kind of hope that the odd ball jumps.

"I thought we stuck to that plan really well and it worked out for us."

Australia are well-placed in the third Test against India after a strong day three in Sydney on Saturday.

After Pat Cummins (4-29) and a brilliant fielding display saw India dismissed for 244 in response to Australia's first-innings 338, the hosts reached 103-2 at stumps – a lead of 197 runs.

Cheteshwar Pujara (50) led India's batting effort, but they lost 49-6 to finish their innings as the SCG pitch began to show signs of uneven bounce.

Making matters worse for the tourists, Rishabh Pant (left elbow) and Ravindra Jadeja (left thumb) were taken for scans after suffering blows while batting.

Marnus Labuschagne (47) and Steve Smith (29), who led Australia's first-innings batting effort, were unbeaten at stumps as the hosts put themselves in position to take a 2-1 series lead.

It came after some wonderful fielding and a fine bowling display by Cummins reduced India.

Cummins had Ajinkya Rahane (22) playing on for the first breakthrough of day three before Josh Hazlewood (2-43) stepped up in the field.

The Australia paceman moved to his right at mid-off before quickly unleashing a throw while diving to run out Hanuma Vihari (4).

Pant responded for India but he struggled after a blow to his elbow and was caught at first slip by David Warner off Hazlewood.

Cummins had the dangerous Pujara caught behind, while Ravichandran Ashwin (10) was run out and Labuschagne produced a wonderful direct hit to also run out Jasprit Bumrah (0).

Jadeja (28 not out) played some nice shots and India were boosted by a couple of quick wickets to begin Australia's innings.

Mohammed Siraj (1-20) had Will Pucovski (10) caught behind and Warner (13) was trapped lbw by Ashwin (1-28), but Smith and Labuschagne steadied the innings to ensure Australia stayed in control.

Josh Hazlewood produced a spectacular piece of fielding to run out Hanuma Vihari during Australia's third Test against India.

The Australia paceman delivered some magic to run out Vihari for four in Sydney.

Hazlewood scrambled to his right at mid-off before quickly unleashing a throw while diving, the direct hit catching Vihari well short of his ground at the SCG.

That left India at 142-4 in response to Australia's first-innings 338.

Uncapped bowlers Daryn Dupavillon and Ottniel Baartman have been included in the South Africa Test squad for their first tour of Pakistan in 14 years.

Paceman Dupavillon has earned a maiden Test call-up, while seamer Baartman has been selected for the first time at international level.

Fit-again quick Kagiso Rabada and all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius were named in a 21-man squad on Friday after playing no part in the 2-0 whitewash of Sri Lanka.

Spinners Tabraiz Shamsi and George Linde will also fly out to Pakistan on January 15 ahead of the first of two Tests, which starts in Karachi 11 days later.

South Africa convener of selectors Victor Mpitsang said: "As a selection panel, we are very excited to see how the tour of Pakistan will pan out for the players we have chosen.

"We are confident in our selections and believe in rewarding good performance both on and off the field, which is why we have gone with the core of the group that was selected for the Sri Lanka home series.

"Considering that the conditions that will be faced are largely unknown to the South African team, we wanted to strengthen the attack with the skill sets that Tabraiz Shamsi and George Linde have to offer, while giving players like Daryn Dupavillon and Ottniel Baartman an opportunity after making strong cases for themselves in recent seasons."

 

South Africa Test squad: 

Quinton de Kock (captain), Temba Bavuma, Aiden Markram, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Kagiso Rabada, Dwaine Pretorius, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Rassie van der Dussen, Anrich Nortje, Wiaan Mulder, Lutho Sipamla, Beuran Hendricks, Kyle Verreynne, Sarel Erwee, Keegan Petersen, Tabraiz Shamsi, George Linde, Daryn Dupavillon, Ottniel Baartman.

Steve Smith returned to form with a century, but India fought back against Australia on day two of the third Test in Sydney.

Smith scored his 27th Test ton as Australia posted 338 in their first innings at the SCG on Friday.

After resuming at 166-2, the hosts looked in position to put together a score of over 400, but aside from Smith (131) and Marnus Labuschagne (91), to go with Will Pucovski's debut half-century, their batting line-up largely struggled.

Ravindra Jadeja (4-62) did most of the damage for India, although they were unable to contain Smith.

The 31-year-old, who scored just 10 runs in the opening two Tests, looked back to his best, his latest Test century moving him level with Allan Border for the sixth most for Australia.

His eighth century against India also equalled the record for the most against the nation.

Shubman Gill (50) led India's response as they reached 96-2 at stumps, trailing by 242 runs, with Ajinkya Rahane (5) – who survived a late lbw review off Nathan Lyon (0-35) – and Cheteshwar Pujara (9) unbeaten heading into day three.

Josh Hazlewood (1-23) took a sharp return chance on his 30th birthday to remove Rohit Sharma (26) and Cameron Green took a good catch off Pat Cummins (1-19) as Gill departed, but India – coming off a win in Melbourne that levelled the series at 1-1 – looked otherwise comfortable.

Australia had appeared similarly at ease, but they lost 132-8 to finish their innings.

While Smith and Labuschagne's 100-run partnership was broken by a good catch by Rahane, Matthew Wade (13) played a loose shot before Jasprit Bumrah (2-66) made the most of the second new ball to remove Green (0) and Tim Paine (1).

Some late hitting from Mitchell Starc (24) boosted Australia as Smith accelerated before a brilliant piece of fielding by Jadeja ended the innings.

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