India marched towards a dominant series-levelling victory after their formidable bowlers scythed through the Australian batting in Melbourne on Monday.
Australia were wobbling at 133 for six at stumps on the third day of the Boxing Day Test at the MGC. The visitors had put up 326 on the board for a 131-run lead in reply to Australia’s first-innings total of 195 all out.
Australia were ahead by only two runs at close of play.
Seeking to wipe out the deficit, Australia began their second innings on a disastrous note as Joe Burns (4) was evicted cheaply by Umesh Yadav.
Sseasoned off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (1/46) once again showed his class when he bamboozled Marnus Labuschagne (28 off 49 balls) with a slider that went straight with the angle.
Steve Smith’s horror run in the series continued as he was bowled by Jasprit Bumrah (1/34) round his legs while Mathew Wade was trapped in front of the wicket by Ravindra Jadeja (2/25). Australia lost another wicket in Travis Head a couple of overs later.
There was no encore of skipper Tim Paine’s battling knock in the first Test as he was caught behind off the bowling of Jadeja.Australia could have been seven down had Pant held on to a Pat Cummins edge off Ashwin.
https://6b760c16dc73a746e3d5e9c80d6d78aa.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html However, India too have a cause for concern as Umesh hobbled off the field after suffering a calf injury in the innings’ eighth over.
Earlier, riding captain Ajinkya Rahane’s classy hundred and Ravindra Jadeja’s 15th half-century, India managed enough runs on the board to put Australia under pressure despite losing their five remaining wickets for only 49 runs after resuming the day on 277 for five.