Melbourne, December 28
Australia were tottering at 126 for 6 in their second essay on the third day of the Boxing Day Test here.
Earlier, the tragic end to Ajinkya Rahane’s masterful knock gave Australia a fresh lease of life but India still managed a big first-innings lead of 131 runs before being bowled out for 326 in the second Test here on Monday.
Replying to Australia’s first-innings total of 195 all out, 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.
Ravindra Jadeja (57) made his 15th Test fifty and added 123 runs for the sixth wicket with skipper Rahane.
Rahane’s vigil came to an end 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 a 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.
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. PTI