Once again the home team's top order collapsed as the MCG pitch started to show signs of wear and tear. None of the Australian batsmen could muster more than 22 runs. Bumrah scaped 6 for 33 and was well supported by other bowlers as Australia were bundled out for 151 in 66.5 overs in reply to India's 443 for 7 (dec).
Australia commenced the middle day of the Test match with eight runs on the board after surviving six nervy overs on Thursday. Aaron Finch crafted a solid drive to start the proceedings but the Australian limited-overs skipper then chipped an Ishant Sharma delivery to debutant Mayank Agarwal at short mid-wicket, who took a difficult diving catch to his left. All Finch could manage was eight runs. Before the dust had settled, Marcus Harris inexplicably attempted a hook shot off a Bumrah bouncer but ended up top-edging it to Ishant at fine leg. The left-hander scored 22 but couldn't convert it into something substantial.
Coming in at No. 3, Usman Khawaja (21) hit a boundary each off Ishant, Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja and looked in decent touch during his 32-ball stay. Khawaja, however, fell to Jadeja while going for a forward defense, only to end up inside edging it to Agarwal at forward short leg. While Jadeja was finding enough purchase off the surface, it was Bumrah who outfoxed Shaun Marsh (19) with a superb dipping slower delivery yorker, pinning him right in front of the stumps, just before lunch.
The afternoon didn't get any better for the hosts with Travis Head's (20) stumps knocked over by a swinging and quick Bumrah delivery four overs into the session. Mitchell Marsh then tickled a Jadeja delivery to Ajinkya Rahane at slip when he was on nine and Pat Cummins (17) departed shortly before tea, leaving Australia's fate in the hands of skipper Tim Paine.
Paine managed to survive 85 deliveries and scored 22 before becoming Bumrah's fourth victim. The right-arm paceman then completed his well-deserved five-wicket haul with another yorker, that hit Nathan Lyon (nought) right in front of the leg stump. It was only fitting that he took the final wicket of Josh Hazlewood.
On Day 2, Cheteshwar Pujara (106) brought up his second century of the series and added 170 runs with Virat Kohli for the third wicket. Mayank Agarwal (76) and Rohit Sharma (63) crafted pivotal fifties, while Ajinkya Rahane (34) and Rishabh Pant (39) too chipped in with handy cameos to propel India to a massive first innings total, which can eventually turn out to be a match-winning one.
First Published: December 28, 2018, 10:38 AM IST