Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21, 2nd Test: Indian bowlers scalp six as Australia lead by two at stumps on Day 3
India is off to a strong start to the Boxing Day Test against Australia in Melbourne, to defend the Border-Gavaskar Trophy title. It has an average lead in the first innings. India won the title during its previous visit in 2018-19, while it is trailing 0-1 in the four-Test series.
On Monday, the Indian bowlers were at the top of their game, as they scalped six wickets to pile pressure on Australia, on Day 3 of the Boxing Day Test, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). At stumps, Australia is 133/6, while it leads by just two runs.
Winning the toss, Australia had elected to bat first, getting bundled out for 195 on Day 1, courtesy pacer Jasprit Bumrah's 4/56. India came up with a strong performance on Day 2 and finished the day on 277/5.
Resuming at the overnight score, the pair of Rahane and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was going right. However, it was at the score of 294 when Rahane was run out for 112, as it brought an end to their 121-run stand for the sixth wicket.
Meanwhile, Jadeja brought up his 15th Test half-century in the process. However, he could not last long either, as he was dismissed by Starc for 57, after being caught by Pat Cummins, at the score of 306.
Following his dismissal, there were hardly any contributions or partnerships from the tail-enders. Umesh Yadav (9), Ravichandran Ashwin (14) and Jasprit Bumrah (0) were dismissed in quick successions, as India was bundled out for 326, with a lead of 131, while an early lunch was taken.
As for the Australian bowlers, it was Lyon, who finished with the best figures, of 3/72, cleaning up the lower-order. He was supported by Starc, who claimed 3/78, including the wickets of Mayank Agarwal (0), Rishabh Pant (29) and Jadeja (57), while the others contributed as well, barring all-rounder Cameron Green.
As Australia came out to bat following the lunch break, it was off to a shaky start, losing opener Joe Burns for mere four to Umesh, who was caught behind by Pant, at the same score. It was followed by a 38-run stand between fellow opener Matthew Wade and Marnus Labuschagne.
At the score of 42, Labushagne fell for 28 to Ashwin after edging it to Rahane in the first slip. Nonetheless, along with Steve Smith, Wade consolidated the innings, staying unbeaten on six and 27, respectively, while Australia trailed by 66 runs.
Resuming post tea at 65/2, it was just six runs later when Smith fell for mere eight to Bumrah, who knocked him over with a beautiful leg trap. Then, the pair of Wade and Travis Head contributed 27 runs, before the former was trapped leg-before by Jadeja, for 40.
At the same score of 98, Head followed back to the pavilion, falling for 17 after edging the ball to Mayank Agarwal in the slips. Immediately, a run later, it was skipper Tim Paine, who was dismissed for a mere single to Jadeja, as Pant caught him behind off the faintest of edges.
Finally, it was the pair of Green and Cummins, who stayed unbeaten on 17 and 15, respectively, as it led by just two runs at the end of day's play. As for the Indian bowlers, it was an all-round effort from all the five bowlers, while Jadeja, so far, has the best figures of 2/25.
Brief scores: Australia 195 and 133/6 (Wade 40; Jadeja 2/25) leads India 326 (Rahane 112, Jadeja 57; Lyon 3/72, Starc 3/78) by two runs.