Sydney, January 9
The Indian cricket team, in a day of terrible events for them, fell in deep trouble on the third day of the third Test against Australia — bowled out for 244 to concede a 94-run lead, India also suffered a serious injury setback as Ravindra Jadeja broke his left hand thumb after being hit by the ball while batting.
Australia tightened the noose on the Indians by extending their overall lead to 197, Marnus Labuschagne (47 not out) and Steve Smith (29 not out) taking the score to 103/2 in their second innings.
When India batted, the Australians managed to create opportunities almost out of nowhere, running three of the visiting batsmen out, and Cheteshwar Pujara, joint top-scorer with 50, got a ball that was just too good to escape.
Pujara’s slowest Test half-century, a painstaking 50 off 176 balls, had helped India to 195/4, but then India lost five wickets for 21 runs to be in dire straits at 216/9. A few lusty blows by Jadeja took the total to 244 and Australia’s lead to below 100, but the writing is on the wall — it would take a superhuman effort by the Indians to bat out time in their second innings to save the game. That seems very unlikely on a wicket with variable bounce.
Pat Cummins (4/29 in 21.4 overs) was brilliant on an unresponsive track with some effective short-pitched bowling, getting good support from Josh Hazlewood (2/43) and Mitchell Starc (1/61), having set up a leg-side trap.
To make matters worse for India, there were three run-outs and two batsmen — Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja — were hit by the ball, on the left elbow and left thumb, respectively. — TNS & Agencies