Clinical Australia In Command Against Injury-hit India After Day 3

At Stumps on Day 3, Australia had India on the mat with a lead of 197 runs.

3 min read
Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne (right) and Steve Smith (left) during their partnership. 

Pat Cummins ran through the Indian batting before Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne build on a 94-run first innings lead to put Australia firmly in command of the Sydney Test. Australia needed quick wickets on the morning of Jane McGrath Day in Sydney, and Cummins responded with aplomb as India were skittled out for 244 in the first innings.

While Australia took control of proceedings, India were dealt a couple of body blows as Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja had to be taken for scans after the first innings, and Jasprit Bumrah had more than a few conversations with the physios about an uncomfortable feeling in his groin.

At Stumps on Day 3, the hosts had India on the mat with a lead of 197 runs, with Smith (29*) and Labuschagne (47*) holding fort.

India began the day with the score at 96/2 and captain Ajinkya Rahane along with Cheteshwar Pujara needing to bat long hours to make the good work of the previous day count.

However, Cummins had other ideas and struck within the first hour as Rahane chopped it on to his stumps for 22.

Hanuma Vihari (4) joined Pujara and the duo had a few awkward moments with edges floating around all over the place before the former was run-out by a brilliant piece of fielding from Josh Hazlewood. India at 142/4 were in a spot of bother.

The arrival of Rishabh Pant saw an increase in the run rate as he added 38 runs with Pujara for the fifth wicket in the 11.4 overs before Lunch.

However, post-lunch, the batters succumbed to the second new ball as the Australian pace duo Hazlewood and Cummins bowled a hostile spell. India lost four wickets for 15 runs to lose track.

Cummins was the first to get under India's skin as he hit Pant on his elbow. The left-handed wicketkeeper-batsman seemed to have got rattled after that and went for an expansive drive off Hazlewood only to edge it to first slip. Pant has since been taken to the hospital for scans and India have Wriddhiman Saha keeping during Australia’s second innings.

Pujara’s (50) vigil ended in the next over, as he nicked a back-of-the-length delivery from Cummins to wicketkeeper Tim Paine.

Ashwin, Navdeep and Bumrah could not add too many runs to the team’s total with Ashwin and Bumrah getting run out by Labuschagne and Navdeep Saini falling to Mitchell Starc for 4.

The final partnership or Ravindra Jadeja and Siraj added 28 runs off the 26 deliveries they faced with Jadeja remaining not out on 28. He took a hit to his thumb as well while batting and was sent for scans a few overs into Australia’s second innings.

With a 94-run first innings lead to boast, Australia’s openers David Warner and Will Pucovski had a chance to pile on the misery on the visitors. However, Mohammed Siraj took the edge of Pucovski 10 as Saha completed a comfortable catch to give India the breakthrough. Soon after, Ashwin had Warner trapped lbw for 13, that though would be the last bit of joy for India in the day as Smith and Labuschagne kept them at bay for the rest of the session.

The duo put on a 68-run partnership and were looking solid as Australia ended the day in the box seat and the score at 103/2.

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