Starting the day at 279/5 and a lead of 84 runs, Ajinkya Rahane and Ravindra Jadeja looked early on Day 3 - the best batting condition of the Test - to India further in the position of strength, but they only managed to add 15 runs to their overnight partnership of 106 before Rahane was run-out for the first time in his Test career. However, Australia continued to be sloppy in the field and dropped a few chances once again to the India lower-order to add some valuable runs and play out most of the first session.
Rahane, who was dropped off the last ball of day two’s play when he was not able to fend off a Mitchell Starc bouncer, was not tested with the short delivery early with Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins opting to go full in search of swing but failed to find any. Ravindra Jadeja, at the other end, looked good to get to his 15 Test fifty but lost his skipper in the scramble to complete the milestone with Marnus Labhuschange putting in an inspired fielding effort at short cover to find Rahane short of his crease. Rahane went for 112 off 223 balls, playing a captain’s knock.
Jadeja eventually completed his fifty to bring out his trademark ‘sword’ celebration but fell to a barrage of short-pitch stuff from Mitchell Starc. Coming round the wicket with a short leg, leg slip, and even a fine leg in place, Starc aimed Jadeja’s rib-cage and Saurashtra allrounder did not back away and it took another four overs from Starc to make the plan work as Jadeja’s swat off a short delivery found Pat Cummins at deep midwicket, who completed the catch after an initial juggle. Jadeja went for 57 off 159 balls.
Umesh Yadav got himself a boundary but did not last long, edging one, off Nathan Lyon, to first skip to depart for just nine and Ashwin followed soon after getting caught at gully for 14 off Josh Hazlewood. Jasprit Bumrah was the last man to fall for a first-ball duck to Lyon. India folded for 326, with a lead of 131 runs. While the lead is significant enough, India would still have liked to add a few more as they lost their five wickets for just 47 runs this morning.
Starc returned with figures of 3/78, while Nathan Lyon claimed 3/72. Pat Cummins added two while Hazlewood picked one wicket.
Brief Scores: India 326 (Ajinkya Rahane 112; Ravindra Jadeja 57; Nathan Lyon 3/72) lead Australia 195 (Marnus LAbhuschange 48; Travis Head 38; Jasprit Bumrah 5/56) by 131 runs