Day 3, 2nd Test: Aus Take 2-run Lead, Bowlers Keep India on Top

The big updates from Day 3 of the Boxing Day Test between India and Australia.

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Cricket
4 min read
Shubman Gill and Ravindra Jadeja celebrate an Australian wicket in Melbourne. 
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After a mini-collapse in the post Tea session when the visitors picked four quick wickets, Australia, with Cameron Green and Pat Cummins negotiated the final hour of Day 3 safely, giving the hosts a lead of two runs with four wickets still to go.

With a couple of hours to go in the day, Australia’s second innings was dealt a body blow as Jasprit Bumrah claimed the big scalp of Steve Smith. That opened the floodgates as Ravindra Jadeja removed Matthew Wade for 40 and then Tim Paine too for 1 at one end, while Mohammed Siraj joined the party with the scalp of Travis Head for 17 to leave Australia staring down the barrel at 99/6.

India had picked two wickets Joe Burns (4) and Marnus Labuschagne for 28, ensuring Australia did not get away to a quick start after cleaning up the Indian tail in the morning.

India were bowled out on 326 in the first session on Day 3 of the Boxing Day Test and Australia lost out of form opener Joe Burns on the fourth over of their innings. Umesh Yadav was the bowler as he nicked one to wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant.

One setback for the visiting team though as Umesh Yadav limped off the field soon after the wicket. He bowled three deliveries of the eighth over before walking off the pitch.

Much like the first innings, Ashwin was introduced in the 10th over and he produced the breakthrough yet again, getting the wicket of Marnus Labuschagne. Rahane with the catch in the slips and Marnus out on 28.

Steve Smith joined Matthew Wade in the middle and the duo negotiated the handful of overs before Tea safely but not in very assured fashion either. Shortly after the Tea break, Bumrah struck a big blow for India when he cleaned up Smith around his legs for 8.

Wade and Travis Head continue to keep India at bay even though the bowlers were asking plenty of questions and Rishabh Pant kept up his chatter too.

Wade, who copped a blow to his head from a Bumrah bouncer, though could not carry on for too long and was trapped LBW by Jadeja, which reduced Australia to 98/4 with India well and truly on top of proceedings.

Australia’s miseries were not over as Siraj came back into the attack and Head looked to drive through the off-side on the up and edged it to Mayank Agarwal in the slips for 17. The hosts at 98/5 were in a spot of bother with Tim Paine and Cameron Green in the middle with the final hour of the day approaching.

Paine however could not hold for more than nine deliveries as Rishabh Pant took a sharp catch off a slight edge off Jadeja’s bowling. The decision had to referred by India as the on-field umpire had adjudged it as not-out. Australia at 99/6 were in all sorts of trouble.

India with Bumrah, Ashwin, Jadeja and Siraj looked to press home the advantage further but were met by Pat Cummins and Cameron Green, both of whom dug in blocked almost everything and took the hosts over the line to finish with a slender two-run lead when stumps were drawn. Australia will begin Day 4 with four wickets in hand while India will look to wrap things up as quickly as possible.

India All Out on 326

Earlier, India were bowled out on 326 in the first session of Day 3 of the Boxing Day Test. After Rahane and Jadeja started on the overnight score of 277/5, the visitors finished with a lead of 131 runs.

Rahane had completed his 12th Test century in the third session on Day 2 and could not add much runs to his tally before he was run out. Jadeja was at the striker’s end and he sent the ball to short cover, Rahane ran full tilt but was found just short of the crease. Labuschagne’s throw in, the Indian skipper out on 112.

Both Rahane and Jadeja had added 121 runs for the sixth wicket.

Ashwin joined Jadeja at the crease next and while the spinning all-rounder completed his 15th Test half century, their partnership lasted all of 12 runs before Jadeja too was sent back to the dressing room. It was a short ball from Mitchell Starc that Jadeja tried to pull, only to be caught by Pat Cummins. Out on 57 with India’s score at 306/7.

Umesh Yadav then joined Ashwin at the crease and their partnership added 19 runs to the total before Steve Smith took a low catch off a Nathan Lyon delivery in the slips to send the pacer back. He made 9.

Ashwin fell to Hazlewood in the next over on 14 and then Lyon got Bumrah out on a duck to end the Indian innings.

For Australia, Mitchell Starc took three wickets for 78 runs, Nathan Lyon ended with three for 72 and Pat Cummins took two for 80.

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