The Indian camp will be disappointed by the dismissal of captain Virat Kohli with only a few overs before the stumps on an otherwise dominant Day 3. The right-handed batsman looked to be in prime form and had started to build a steady partnership of 71 runs with Cheteshwar Pujara.
However, the 30-year-old was dismissed by Nathan Lyon after scoring 34 runs. Kohli tried to defend a full-pitched delivery from the Australian spinner but ended up getting deceived by the bounce. The ball edged off his gloves, the pads and then eventually flew towards Aaron Finch who made no mistake in the proceeding at short-leg.
Nonetheless, the visitors were able to turn the tide in their favour and have already taken a lead of 166 runs. With in-form batsman Pujara and Rahane on strike, the Indian team would very well fancy their chances of increasing that lead tomorrow.
The Day 3 got off to a delayed start and frequent interruptions as rain showered sporadically.
However, the Indian seamers rarely lost their concentration and soon scalped the three remaining wickets. Jasprit Bumrah was the first bowler to dismiss Mitchell Starc (12), followed by Mohammed Shami, who took two wickets in two balls in the first over he was given. That brought an abrupt end to Australia’s innings. They rounded up 15 runs short of India’s total at 235/10.
Murali Vijay and KL Rahul commenced the third innings in a slow fashion. But then, they soon found their feet and stitched a vital 63-run partnership. This was the first time that Rahul and Vijay had achieved a 50+ run partnership in an away Test.
India’s brilliant start could have gone haywire after some quick dismissals of Vijay and Rahul by Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood. But then the calming presence of Kohli and Pujara ensured India meant Australia had hit another wall. The two put up a crucial 71-run stand and successfully took Indias’ 150+ lead.
Pujara was lucky on two occasions in the day. The first time, he was adjudged as caught behind whereas on the other he was ruled out LBW. But in both the instances, he was the DRS call came to his rescue.
There was another late scare when he appeared to have some problems in the hamstring. But still continued to bat on.
India now has a strong lead of 166 runs. Even though they are still some distance from gaining control the match, they have done just enough to make the Australian camp nervous at the end of Day 3.
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