A fanatic day of Test cricket saw 15 wickets fell as India asserted themselves in a position of ascendancy at stumps on day 03. On a pitch where just seven wickets fell across two days, Indian bowlers- led by Jasprit Bumrah's career-best figures of 6-33, bowled up with great discipline to knock Australia for 151 in reply to the tourist's first innings total of d 7-443.
On a pitch that had started to show signs of deterioration on the second day, Indian bowlers started off good plans, bowling straighter lines with more catching fielders in front of the wicket.
Aaron Finch fell into the trap against a straight delivery that followed the wide ones to chip the ball straight to Mayank Agarwal, who took a sharp low catch at short mid-wicket.
Marcus Harris, who was struck at the helmet late on day 02, fell to the short ball again, top-edging a pull- on the front foot, straight to Ishant Sharma's throat at fine-leg, giving Jasprit Bumrah his first wicket.After a good first hour, Ravindra Jadeja showed what India missed at Perth. Constantly hitting the rough marks, Jadeja started as a threat straightaway.
Usman Khwaja tried to counter it by employing the reverse-sweep but could not do it for long, as the next ball turner sharply from the footmarks inducing an inside edge from the left-hander, giving debutant Agarwal, his second catch at short leg.
Shaun Marsh showed some discipline and almost saw Australia unscathed to Lunch before he was completely flummoxed by one of the great slower balls you'll ever see courtsey Jasprit Bumrah leaving the home side reeling at 4-89.
It was a sophisticated assault on Australia's No.4 keeping in mind the context of the delivery. Every ball of that over before that fatal delivery had Bumrah clocking in excess of 139 kph, pushing Marsh back firmly into the crease, setting him up. The sort of pace sustained across the five balls was bound to get into the batsman's head. This made the eventual deceleration all the more effective as the next delivery, the wicket ball was almost 34 kph slower than the fifth, a sort of pace change that leaves you in a whiplash.
With reverse-swing on offer, Bumrah wasn't done though. He prized out Travis Head, beating him for pace while Mitchell Marsh, was done in trying to pick Jadeja off the footmarks, consequently, edging to slip.
Australia's best partnership of the innings came between skipper Tim Paine and Pat Cummins, lasting for 17.3 overs. But, with reverse-swing on offer, Shami came into the game and knocked over Cummins at the stroke of Tea. Bumrah, returned after the break to claim his third five-wicket haul, nicking off Paine to the keeper before polishing off Lyon [LBW] and Hazlewood [bowled] to hand his side a hefty lead of 298 runs.
Despite the massive lead, Virat Kohli decided against enforcing the follow-on and were subjected to a barrage of wickets from Pat Cummins. Vihari fended awkwardly against the short ball, followed by Pujara and Kohli caught at leg gully and then Rahane gloving a pull off his hip to 'keeper Paine. Rohit Sharma evaded the hattrick but fell to Hazlewood late in the day as India ended at 5-54 but effectively 346 runs ahead, leaving Australia with all the running to do in the days to follow.
Match in Brief:
India [d7-443, Agarwal 76, Pujara 106, Pat Cummins 3-72 & 5-54, Agarwal 28, Pat Cummins 4-10] lead Australia [151, Harris 22, Jasprit Bumrah 6-33] by 346 runs