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PICS: Australia vs India Second Test, Day 3

Last updated on: December 28, 2020 13:12 IST
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Images from Day 3 of the second Test between Australia and India, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, on Monday. 

India pacer Jasprit Bumrah celebrates after dismissing Australia's Steve Smith on Day 3 of the second Test,  at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, on Monday.

IMAGE: India pacer Jasprit Bumrah gets high-fives from teammates after dismissing Australia's Steve Smith on Day 3 of the second Test, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, on Monday. Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

A relentless India marched towards a dominant series-levelling victory after their formidable bowlers scythed through Australian batting, pressing home the advantage of a sizeable first-innings lead on the third day of the second Test, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, on Monday.

 

Australia were reeling at 133 for 6 at stumps, only two runs ahead, at close of play.

Aiming to exorcise the ghosts of being bowled out for a record lowest 36 in the series-opener, the visitors put up 326 on the board for a 131-run lead in reply to Australia's first-innings total of 195 all out.

Ravindra Jadeja celebrates getting the wicket of Matthew Wade

IMAGE: Ravindra Jadeja revels after trapping Matthew Wade leg before wicket. Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Seeking to wipe out the deficit, Australia began their second innings on a disastrous note as Joe Burns (4) not only got out for a poor score, but also wasted a review after pacer Umesh Yadav (1/5) opened him up with one that swung away very late.

Introduced early into the attack, seasoned off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (1/46) again showed his class when he bamboozled Marnus Labuschagne (28 off 49 balls) with a slider that went straight with the angle.

He let one slide across and with the batsman looking to defend. The ball went the other way and took an outside edge on its way to Rahane at first slip.

Mohammed Siraj celebrates taking the wicket of Travis Head

IMAGE: Mohammed Siraj reacts after taking the wicket of Travis Head. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Matthew Wade (27 batting, 89 balls) and Steve Smith (6 batting, 20 balls) survived the remaining overs prior to the tea break, which they took at 65 for two. At that point in time, the hosts trailed India by 66 runs.

More misery awaited Australia in the final session when they lost four wickets for the addition of 68 runs, as India closed in on an equaliser in the four-match series after the humiliating defeat in the opener at Adelaide Oval.

Smith's horror run in the series continued as he was bowled by Jasprit Bumrah (1/34) round his legs when the ball clipped the bails of the off-stump after the batsman had shuffled too much.

Ravindra Jadeja is congratulated by teammates after getting the wicket of Tim Paine

IMAGE: Ravindra Jadeja is congratulated by teammates after getting the wicket of Tim Paine. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Wade, looking the best among the Australian batsmen, was trapped in front of the wicket by Ravindra Jadeja (2/25) -- 98 for four.

And while the score remained the same, 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.

Session 1

Ravindra Jadeja celebrates scoring 50

IMAGE: India’s Ravindra Jadeja celebrates scoring his 15th Test fifty. Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

A heart-breaking end to Ajinkya Rahane's masterful knock gave Australia a fresh lease of life, but India still did well to take a first innings lead of 131 runs before being bowled out for 326.

Replying to Australia's first innings total of 195, India folded at the stroke of lunch. They added just 49 runs to their overnight total of 277 for 5, having lost wickets in a cluster in the third day's first session.

Ravindra Jadeja (57) registered his 15th Test fifty and added 123 runs for the sixth wicket with skipper Rahane.

Australia's players celebrate India captain Ajinkya Rahane's dismissal

IMAGE: Australia's players celebrate India captain Ajinkya Rahane's dismissal. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Rahane's vigil came to an when he was run-out, his first in Tests, after a classy 112, which included 12 boundaries, from 223 balls.

The call was Jadeja's and the run-out was needless. Nevertheless, the all-rounder looked solid in the middle before he was set up by a Mitchell Starc (3/78 in 26 overs).

Pat Cummins celebrates after taking the catch to dismiss Ravindra Jadeja.

IMAGE: Pat Cummins is congratulated by his Australia teammates after taking the catch to dismiss Ravindra Jadeja. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

The Australian left-arm fast bowler tested Jadeja with a barrage of short balls and the ploy worked as the all-rounder pulled one straight to the deep mid-wicket fielder.

His polished 57 included three boundaries and his trademark sword celebration.

On a Day 3 MCG pitch that hardly contained any demons, the Australian bowlers failed to pose any serious threat to the well-settled Indian batting duo of Rahane and Jadeja. The hosts desperately needed a wicket and given how Rahane had been batting, it had to be a run-out.

Ravindra Jadeja bats during Day 3

IMAGE: Ravindra Jadeja's polished knock was studded with three fours. Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Nearing his half-century, Jadeja took off for a needless single after playing it towards short cover and Rahane responded positively instead of sending him back, but narrowly failed to make his ground at the striker's end despite giving his best shot.

That pegged India back as Australia looked to claw their way back. Nathan Lyon (3/72 in 27.1 overs) and Josh Hazlewood (1/47 in 23 overs) then polished off the tail.

Session 2

India pacer Umesh Yadav after dismissing Australia opener Joe Burns on Monday, Day 3 of the second Test, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

IMAGE: India pacer Umesh Yadav celebrates after dismissing Australia opener Joe Burns on Monday, Day 3 of the second Test, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Umesh Yadav and Ravichandran Ashwin struck telling blows to reduce Australia to 65 for 2 in their second innings at tea.

Earlier, riding on captain Ajinkya Rahane's classy hundred and Ravindra Jadeja's 15th half-century in Test cricket, India put up 326 in the first innings, gaining a substantial lead of 131 runs.

India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin launches into a celebratory run after dismissing Marnus Labuschagne.

IMAGE: India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin launches into a celebratory run after dismissing Marnus Labuschagne. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Seeking to wipe off the deficit, Australia began their second innings on a disastrous note as Joe Burns (4) not only got out for a poor score, but also wasted a review after Umesh opened him up with one that swung away very late.

Introduced early into the attack, seasoned off-spinner Ashwin once again showed his class when he bamboozled Marnus Labuschagne (28 off 49 balls) with his patented carrom ball delivery.

Ashwin let one slide across as the batsman looked to defend. The ball went the other way and took an outside edge on its way to Rahane at first slip.

Matthew Wade bats during Day 3

IMAGE: Matthew Wade bats during Day 3. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Matthew Wade (27 batting, 89 balls) and Steve Smith (6 batting, 20 balls) survived the remaining overs prior to the tea break.

At the break, Australia trail India by 66 runs.

However, India have cause for concern as Umesh hobbled off the field after suffering an injury in the innings' eighth over.

Bowling his fourth over, the pacer seemed to have injured his knee or ankle and an update on him is awaited.

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