The Indian camp will rue the dismissal of skipper Virat Kohli just a few overs before the stumps on Day 3. The right-handed batsman was batting beautifully and looked to be in good touch as he scored 34 runs, building a 71-run partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara, before he fell to Nathan Lyon. The 30-year-old tried to defend a full-pitched delivery but was deceived by the bounce, as the ball nicked his gloves, and then the pads and flew straight to Aaron Finch at short-leg. But despite Kohli’s dismissal, the visitors were able to tilt the balance of the scales in their favour, taking a lead of 166 runs.
Despite a delayed start, and frequent interruptions due to rain, the Indian seamers did not lose their concentration and came with the one-goal mindset – to get the required three wickets as soon as possible. While Jasprit Bumrah dismissed Mitchell Starc for 12, Mohammed Shami took two in two balls in the first over he was given, to end Australia’s innings for 245, 15 runs short of India’s total.
Coming on to bat, Murali Vijay and KL Rahul started off slow. But the duo soon found their groove amid tough conditions and stitched a 63-run partnership. It was the first time Rahul and Vijay had reached 50-run partnership in an away Test.
Quick dismissals of Vijay and Rahul, by Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, before Tea, gave India some worries. But Kohli and Pujara ensured India do not fall like a pack of cards, the way they did in the first innings and took Indias’ lead over 150.
Pujara was lucky twice in the day as he was once adjudged caught behind, and was once adjudged LBW. But both the times, he was saved by the DRS call. He also appeared to have some problems in hamstring by the end of the day, but continued to bat on.
With Ajinkya Rahane and Pujara in the middle, India finished strong with the total of 151/3, leading Australia by 166 runs. It might not be complete control for India, but it is just enough to make the Aussie camp a bit worried before the start of the 4th day.