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'India didn't have an answer for the way we were playing'

Last updated on: December 27, 2014 16:16 IST
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Steven Smith is congratulated by Brad Haddin after completing his century

Steven Smith is congratulated by Brad Haddin after completing his century. Photograph: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Captain Steven Smith scored a big century and then grabbed a sharp catch to put Australia in a good position on Day 2 of the third Test at the MCG on Saturday.

Smith propelled Australia to a mammoth first innings total of 530 after scoring a career-high 192 to anchor a stunning tail-end assault on India's bowlers, who leaked 314 runs for the final five wickets at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

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"It felt pretty good at the crease and things are working well for me. It is nice and I think the most pleasing thing about it is that we got 530 runs on the board. I think that's a very good first innings total for us," said Smith.

Smith also gave due credit to Austalia's lower order.

"Our tail have come out and taken the bowlers on," Smith told reporters after pacemen Mitchell Johnson (28) and Ryan Harris (74) piled on the runs.

"Mitch Johnson again today looked good and Ryan Harris came out and batted beautifully.

"I don't think they (India) had an answer for the way they were playing. It's great for us that the tail can come out and do that and be really aggressive."

Brad Haddin

Brad Haddin. Photograph: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

"Brad batted really well. He bats best when he comes out and takes on the opposition. He did that today and he was positive from the start. I thought he played the short ball really well. He got underneath a few and played a few pull shots and I thought he really played well to be honest," he added praising the out-of-form keeper-batsman.

Returning to the field after tea, Smith ended a 55-run opening partnership by diving low at second slip to catch an edge from Shikhar Dhawan (28) off the bowling of Ryan Harris.

Opener Murali Vijay (55 not out) and number three batsman Cheteshwar Pujara (25 not out) pushed India to 108-1 at stumps, still 422 runs adrift of the hosts' total.

The tourists were lucky not to be two wickets down, however, with wicketkeeper Brad Haddin spilling an edge from Pujara when the batsman was on 12.

Vijay's unbeaten half-century, his fourth knock over 50 in the series, will give India some hope of reeling in the total on the benign drop-in wicket.

"It would have been nice to have taken a few wickets this evening. But if we start well in the morning and get the ball in the right area then we will. The wicket is still pretty good. The occasional one takes off from the pitch and I think if you get the ball in the right area that will create a few chances hopefully in the morning," Smith said.

Smith's third century from three Tests, however, has all but sealed the four-match series for Australia, who lead 2-0.

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