Australia pace bowler Pat Cummins took four wickets in eight deliveries yesterday, but India retained the upper hand with a 346-run advantage after an action-packed third day of the third Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
On a pitch offering variable bounce, Australia lost their 10 first-innings wickets and India reached 54-5 at stumps. India held an overall lead of 346 runs with five second-innings wickets in hand.
Fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah took a career-best 6-33 as India claimed a 292-run lead on the first innings. Australia’s brittle batting lineup was bowled out for 151 in reply to India’s 443-7 declared.
However, Cummins (4-10) gave the 33,447 fans at the MCG something to cheer about as India slumped from 28-0 to 32-4.
Hanuma Vihari (13) edged a short ball to gully in Cummins’ second over, and in his third over the right-arm quick removed star batsmen Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli for ducks. Both were caught at leg-gully.
Cummins broke through again at the start of his fourth over, which put him on a hat-trick after Ajinkya Rahane (1) was caught behind.
New batsman Rohit Sharma made 5 before edging to slip off Josh Hazlewood’s bowling at 44-5. Debutant Mayank Agarwal (28) and Rishabh Pant (6) reached stumps unbeaten.
Earlier, Bumrah pummelled Australia to put India in a commanding position.
Bowling fiery spells full of precision and guile, the 25-year-old with his signature slingshot action helped rout Australia soon after tea.
Wicketkeeper-captain Tim Paine and opener Marcus Harris shared their side’s highest score of 22. Having softened up Harris late on the second day by rapping his helmet with a nasty delivery, Bumrah had the opener dismissed with a hook that was swallowed by Ishant Sharma at short-leg.
He left Australia in huge trouble at 89-4 at lunch, trapping Shaun Marsh leg before wicket for 19 with the last ball of the session, a slower full-toss that hammered into the befudded left-hander’s pads.
Bowling Travis Head for 20 after the interval, Bumrah returned later to rattle through the tail.
Additional reporting by Reuters
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