Australia battled through a tough third day at the SCG to reach 236-6 in response to India’s mammoth first innings score of 622-7, as a 3-1 series win beckons for India.
Australia started the day bright and breezy, with Marcus Harris going to only his second Test half-century in his eighth innings. Harris shared an opening stand of 72 with Usman Khawaja (27 off 71 balls, 3×4) before adding 56 with recalled Marnus Labuschagne (38 off 95 balls).
Harris was the second wicket to fall, playing on to Ravindra Jadeja after scoring 79 off 120 balls (8×4), to leave Australia on 128-2.
Shaun Marsh fell for eight before Labuschagne was caught by Ajinkya Rahane off Mohammed Shami with the score on 152-8. Travis Head (20 off 56) and Peter Handscomb added 40 for the fifth wicket before Head was sharply caught by Kuldeep Yadav off his own bowling, with Tim Paine bowled in short succession for five after going for a big drive off Yadav.
Handscomb and Pat Cummins saw the innings through to the close, adding an undefeated 38 for the seventh wicket, Handscomb ending on 28 off 91 balls (3×4) and Cummins 25 off 41 balls (6×4).
Kuldeep Yadav’s 3-71 (24 overs) was the star turn of the innings, with Ravindra Jadeja taking 2-62 off 27.3 overs, an ominous preview of the damage the two spinners might do over the remaining two days as the Sydney track starts to offer the bowlers increasing joy and plenty of wicket-taking opportunities.
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