India took control of the Boxing Day Test after a strong third day effort with the ball in Melbourne.
India started the day 277-5 with Ajinkya Rahane unbeaten on 105. They would have hoped for him and Ravindra Jadeja (40* overnight) to build on a 82-run lead, but both batters were dismissed within 12 runs of each other, whereafter the India tail shower no resistance.
India were bowled out for 326, Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Starc taking three wickets each, but soon had Australia is trouble. Umesh Yadav dismissed Joe Burns with a wicked leg cutter that caught his bat’s edge.
Marnus Labuschagne batted well to get to 28, but was deceived at a Ravi Ashwin quicker ball that spat to gully off a leading edge. Jasprit Bumrah then got the prized scalp of Steve Smith. India’s seamers have been attacking him with wicket-to-wicket deliveries throughout the series with mixed success. This time Jasprit Bumrah bypassed his bat and pads to clip the leg stump and prolong Smith’s run drought in the series.
Matthew Wade and Travis Head brought some stability, but the former succumbed to a Jadeja arm ball and Head was caught in the slips within a couple of deliveries of each other. This left Australia 98/5, trailing by 33 runs.
One run later captain Tim Paine was gone, given out caught behind after ‘Snicko’ showed a tiny spike as the ball passed the edge, but ‘Hot spot’ revealed nothing. Shane Warne argued that Paine’s sliding front foot was responsible for ‘Snicko’ registering it as a knick, but it didn’t matter, Australia were reeling.
There was late resistance from Cameron Green and Pat Cummins, who took Australia two runs past India’s first innings total. However, with Australia133/6 at stumps, India remain firmly in control going into day four.