The day 3 of the Second Test saw India hand over their advantage to Australia who are now most certain for a win. Despite Virat Kohli’s century, India handed over a 43 runs lead to the Baggy Greens.
Resuming the third day’s play, Australia struck in the very fourth delivery of the first over when Ajinkya Rahane edged a Nathan Lyon delivery to Tim Paine, however, Virat Kohli along with Hanuma VIhari steadied the Indian innings with a fine partnership of 50 runs which brought the Indian total closer to the Aussies one. In the meanwhile, Captain Kohli reached to his 25th Test Century in style when he hit Mitchell Starc for a boundary. However, Hazlewood got the better of Vihari.
Rishabh Pant had joined the Indian Captain in the middle and both looked comfortable. But a lapse of concentration by Kohli resulted in him edging a loose shot at the hands of Peter Handscomb who was stationed in the second slip off Pat Cummin’s delivery. Mohammed Shami, who was promoted at number eight, was dismissed in the very next over which reduced the Indian total to 251 runs for 7 wickets at tea.
As the play resumed after Tea, Nathan Lyon picked up his third wicket when he sent Ishant Sharma back to the pavilion. Pant then played some attacking shots and took the Indian innings to 279 runs, before perishing as he mistimed a Lyon delivery which was caught comfortably by Starc. Soon, Lyon bundled the Indian innings as he got Jasprit Bumrah caught out to Usman Khawaja at first slip.
Marcus Harris and Aaron Finch resumed the Australian Innings for the second innings and they both played cautiously and watchfully, negating the early threats of the new ball. However, Finch soon started displaying an attacking brand of cricket playing some beautiful shots for boundaries before he was hit by an absolute ripper of a delivery from Shami which forced him to retire hurt after it hit him on his right index finger. As a result, Usman Khawaja joined Harris in the middle.
Both were looking confident and settled in the middle before a misjudgment by Harris resulted in his downfall. Shaun Marsh then was the next batsman to be in the middle, but he never looked settled and was dismissed playing a pull shot to fine leg. He was caught by Rishabh Pant off Shami’s delivery. At this stage, Australia were 64/2.
Peter Handscomb was the next batsman and he along with Khawaja tried to sturdy the Australian innings. Khawaja, in particular, looked solid as he hit a couple of boundaries to the Indian bowlers. However, Ishant had Handscomb dead plumb in front of the wicket as the Aussie was trying to play across the line. Travis Head, the next batsman too soon followed the suit when he was dismissed by Shami as he was caught at deep third man by Ishant. The Australians concluded the day’s play at 132 for 4 with a lead of 175 runs. Captain Tim Paine is alongside Usman Khawaja who is well settled at 41 not out.
India would have to dismantle the Aussie innings within a 250 runs lead or else India would blow away the series lead that they have. Batting fourth in this pitch is very tough as the wicket has few cracks which is causing the ball to bounce more. It will be easy to say that at this juncture, it is Australia who are on top and are more likely to win this match.