Ravindra Jadeja led the way with bot bat and ball as India ended Day 3 of the second Test against Australia at Melbourne in a commanding position. It was Jadeja’s half-century that played a key part in India taking a 131-run lead in the first innings and he ended the second innings with figures of 2-25 as Australia were 133-6 at stumps. The hosts now face a tall order to get a competitive total on the board in the final two days of the Test. (INDIA vs AUSTRALIA FULL COVERAGE | INDIA vs AUSTRALIA FULL SCHEDULE)
Resuming the final session on 65-2, Australia lost four more wickets in quick succession. The first to depart was Steve Smith, who was bowled round the legs by Jasprit Bumrah, the ball just clipping the stumps and dislodging the bails. (HIGHLIGHTS| DAY 3 SCORECARD)
Matthew Wade was then dismissed LBW by Jadeja, with not even a review being able to extend what was a dogged innings by the makeshift left-hand opener.
Travis Head then edged one to Mayank Agarwal in the slips, giving Mohammed Siraj his first wicket of the innings. Tim Paine then edged one to Rishabh Pant off Jadeja but the decision again needed DRS intervention after the umpire gave him not out at first.
All-rounders Cameron Green (17) and Pat Cummins (15) batted through the remainder of the day with minimal fuss as the Indian bowlers toiled hard but failed to get another breakthrough.
Earlier, Australia began their second innings on a disastrous note as Joe Burns (4) not only got out for a poor score, but also wasted a review after Umesh Yadav opened him up with one that swung away very late.
Also Read: ‘Umpires Call Must Be Looked At’ - Sachin Tendulkar Leads Call for DRS Review
Introduced early into the attack, seasoned off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin once again showed his class when he bamboozled Marnus Labuschagne with his patented carrom ball.
Ashwin let one slid across and with the batsman looking to defend. The ball went the other way and took an outside edge on its way to Ajinkya Rahane at first slip.
India have a cause for concern in the form of Umesh, however, as the seamer hobbled off the field after suffering an injury in the innings’ eighth over. Bowling his fourth over, the pacer pulled up after a delivery and left the field for treatment. The BCCI confirmed that he was being taken for scans.
In the beginning of the day, an unfortunate end to Rahane’s masterful knock in the first innings saw Australia mop up the tail with minimal fuss but India still managed a big first-innings lead before being bowled out.
Also Read: Ravindra Jadeja Has Turned the Corner With His Batting Performances
The Indian innings folded at the stroke of lunch as they could add just 49 runs to their overnight total of 277 for five, having lost wickets in a cluster in the third day’s first session.
Jadeja (57) added 123 runs for the sixth wicket with skipper Rahane, whose vigil came to an when he was run out, his first in Tests, after making a classy 112 with the help of 12 boundaries in 223 balls.
The call was Jadeja’s and the run out was needless, but nevertheless, the all-rounder looked solid in the middle before he was set up by Mitchell Starc (3/78 in 26 overs).
The Australian left-arm fast bowler tested Jadeja with a barrage of short balls and the ploy worked as the all-rounder pulled one straight to the deep mid-wicket fielder for a polished 57 that included three boundaries and his trademark sword celebration.
Also Read: Blow for India as Umesh Yadav Limps Off the Field With Injury
On a Day 3 MCG pitch that hardly contained any demons, the Australian bowlers failed to pose any serious threat to the well-settled Indian batting duo of Rahane and Jadeja.
The hosts desperately needed a wicket and given how Rahane had been batting, it had to be a run out.
Nearing his half-century, Jadeja took off for a needless single after playing it towards short cover and Rahane responded positively instead of sending him back, but narrowly failed to make his ground at the striker’s end despite giving his best shot.
That pegged India back as Australia looked to claw their way back. Nathan Lyon (3/72 in 27.1 overs) and Josh Hazlewood (1/47 in 23 overs) then polished off the tail.
Get all the IPL news and Cricket Score here