A mediocre batting effort, sparked by excellent bowling from Pat Cummins, caused India to fall well short of Australia’s first-innings total in Sydney.
India came into day three trailing by 242 runs with eight second-innings wickets in hand. They exit the day 180 runs behind as Australia established themselves as favourites after Test cricket’s ‘moving day’.
Australia’s discipline with the ball gradually built pressure, which was evidenced through Cheteshwa Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari’s snail-paced strike rates. The former scored 50 off 176 deliveries, while the latter’s 22 came off 70.
Skipper Rahane chopped on a back-of-a-length Pat Cummins delivery that jagged in appreciably, before the pressure told on Vihari, who was run out attempting a single that was never there.
Pujara and Rishabh Pant then shared a 50-run partnership to steady things but they both fell with the score on 195, whereafter India lost their next four wickets for just 49 runs.
Cummins finished the innings with figures of 4-29, and an incredible economy rate of 1.34 in his 21.4 overs. His efforts gave Australia a 94-run lead going into their second batting innings.
The hosts’ lost openers David Warner and Will Pucovski cheaply, but Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith stood firm, extending their lead through a combination of watchful and opportunistic batting through to stumps.