Australia look well-set to square the series after clawing back into the game on Day 3 at Perth of the 2nd Test.
The Aussie bowlers first well did to restrict the last seven Indian batsmen to just 111 runs to bowl out the Indian side for 283 runs, with Virat Kohli scoring a sublime 123. In response, the home side navigated through some fiery bowling to end the day at 132 for 4, with a lead of 175 already in their pocket.
It was an engrossing day of Test cricket, as Jasprit Bumrah constantly troubled the Aussie batsmen with movement and accuracy, However, the Tim Paine-led team fought out these tough moments to put themselves into a strong position heading into Day. Usman Khawaja was the standout performer for the hosts with the bat after Aaron Finch possibly broke a finger, scoring 41 deliveries in 102 balls.
Also read: Memorable Indian moments at Perth
After the openers had piled on 33 runs at a decent pace, quick wickets allowed India back into the game. Travis Head was out shouldering his arms to a ball by Bumrah that was on the offside while Shaun Marsh edged one behind to Rishabh Pant. Handscomb was sent back soon after for 13 by Ishant Sharma.
Head and Khawaja then stood tall, adding 35 runs in 90 deliveries. The latter survived a dropped catch but did not offer any more chances as he held his ground top take India within sniffing distance of a match-winning target.
Earlier, the day belonged to Indian skipper Kohli who mesmerized by playing some perfectly timed shots. His 25th Test hundred kept India in the game, but as has been the pattern, his dismissal shifted gears. Though Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari had been dismissed in quick succession before, the presence of Kohli at the crease was a calming sight and his steady rate of run-scoring meant that India was still in with a chance of going past Australia’s first innings total of 326. However, once he was sent back, the long tail hardly offered a resistance and folded up for 283.
With Nathan Lyon ending with 5 wickets in the innings, and with India not playing a spinner, the lack of a slow bowler is something that the management might be ruing. Australia head into Day 4 with a chance to bat India out of the game, but all eyes will be on the quick to dismantle the home side as soon as possible.
Brief Scores: Australia 326 & 132/4 (Usman Khawaja 41*, Mohammed Shami 2-23) lead India 283 (Virat Kohli 123, Nathan Lyon 5-67) by 175 runs.