Australia dominated the proceedings on Day 3 to take the match away from India’s grasp. The hosts made use of the grasping hold they had of the game, to amass a colossal lead. Fifties from Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne and Cameron Green allowed the hosts to set a target of 407 with four sessions left in the game. India lost the wickets of both the openers after a tidy start and finished the day at 98-2.
The penultimate day began on a grim note for India with Hanuma Vihari dropping a regulation catch off Jasprit Bumrah’s bowling. Labuschagne and Smith continued to inflict punishment on the Indian bowling unit, who were operating without Ravindra Jadeja.
Much like their time in the first innings, the duo registered a 100-run stand and became only the third pair to notch century stands in the same test against India.
Debutant Navdeep Saini struck twice in quick succession and denied Labuschagne a ton, and delivered yet another failure for Matthew Wade.
Following the dismissal of Steve Smith at the hands of Ashwin yet again, Australia switched gears. Leading the way was Cameron Green, the all-rounder struck 4 sixes in his 84-run knock and was the final wicket to fall before Tim Paine opted to declare during the Tea break.
With an entire session to negotiate before moving onto the final day, openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill reprised their first innings partnership. The Australian bowlers struggled to find a breakthrough as the pair managed to notch the highest opening partnership of the series.
While they looked solid with a mission to see out the entire day, Hazlewood finally got the breakthrough with the outside edge of Gill’s bat. Rohit Sharma changed gears and brought up his fifty but his trademark pull shot marked his end as he found the fielder in the deep.
The experienced duo of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane played out the last couple of overs and ended the day at 98-2. India are now 309 runs away from the target set by Tim Paine and co.
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