No pitch is flat for the Aussies these days and the third day accentuated it to the hilt as the home side crumbled after an impressive start given by Harris and Khwaja to finish at 6-236 on a rain-marred third day at the SCG.
On a pitch where the Australian bowlers toiled hard to claim seven wickets for a better part of two days, Indian bowlers as a group showed how consistent lengths and relentless lines could reap you awards on a flat track.
After an impressive start by the Aussie openers, especially, Marcus Harris, who made a pristine 79, Indian bowlers regrouped with the old ball.
By sticking to their discipline- which includes maintaining the shiny side of the ball- Mohammad Shami and the duo of Kuldeep and Jadeja became a mighty threat in the Post Lunch session and picked up five wickets for a mere 126 runs.
The wear and tear of the pitch that is reminiscent of a third day's pitch coupled by Aussie batsmen's brain-fade- especially Shaun Marsh and Tim Paine, did play a part but credit should not be taken by the hostile environment that the Indian bowling group created their discipline.
But, the moment of the day arrived through brilliant tactical nouse by Virat Kohli. Marnus Labuschagne was proving equal to the task with delightful on-drives and flicks surviving the old-ball threat from Shami.
India had two mid-wickets in place to catch the erroneous flick, but the Aussie No.3 dissected the gap with ridiculous ease and backed it up by an on-drive.
The next ball, Kohli placed himself to silly mid-on and had Rahane moved to the right, closer to square-leg. Shami ran in to get the ball reverse a bit, Labuschagne tried to flick it but found Rahane, who completed a great diving catch and a beautifully planned wicket.
With rain around the corner, Travis Head looped the ball straight to Kuldeep Yadav and was followed by Tim Paine, who failed to move his feet, only to see his stumps castled.
In the end, it was left to Pat Cummins to restore calm amidst the hara-kiri to take his side unscathed at 6-236 before inclement weather conditions brought a halt to the proceedings.
Match in Brief-
Australia [6-236, Harris 79, Kuldeep 3-71] trail India [d7-622, Pujara 193, Pant 159*, Lyon 4-178] by 386 runs