Australia were leading by 326 runs in the second innings with Shaun Marsh batting on 62 with Ryan Harris (8*) at the crease when play ended on Day 4. With rain playing spoilsport, the home team were 261/7 at the end of an extended day’s play at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. (Also See: HIGHLIGHTS: AUSTRALIA VS INDIA - 3rd TEST, DAY 4, Melbourne)
David Warner (40 off 42) got Australia off to a blazing start to capitalise on the existing 65-run lead after the hosts had bowled India out for 465 earlier in the morning. And his opening partner, Chris Rogers went on to score a scratchy 69 and anchor the first part of the innings. After his departure, Marsh held up one end even as Australia lost wickets at regular intervals and took the team to an advantageous position. Ishant Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin and Umesh Yadav claimed two wickets each while Mohammed Shami took one to keep the visitors in the fray.
Warner cut Umesh Yadav through point to start off with a boundary. While Rogers stayed at the other end, the left hand batsman launched an onslaught on the Indian bowlers early in the innings. He raced to 37 off 22 balls until he was reined in by Ravichandran Ashwin and Ishant Sharma before being trapped lbw by the off-spinner.
Rogers and Shane Watson then scored steadily to take the hosts to Lunch at 90/1 with a 155-run lead. After a delayed start to the second session due to inclement weather, Rogers received a reprieve while on 33 off the second ball post lunch. Ishant forced an outside edge from the opener but Shikhar Dhawan diving to his right couldn’t hold on to the tough chance as the ball bounced off his fingers. However, in his next over the pacer induced an outside edge from Watson and MS Dhoni took a low catch to leave Australia on 98/2.
33 runs later, Steven Smith who had hit Yadav for couple of boundaries through fine leg in the bowler’s previous over was caught at leg gully by Ajinkya Rahane while looking to pick more runs through the region. At the other end Rogers who had gone past fifty for the fourth time in the series lived dangerously as edges flew as he strove to anchor the innings.
Runs continued to trickle in for the hosts as Yadav and Mohammed Shami toiled to contain the batsmen. With Marsh, Rogers continued to pluck runs off the Indian bowlers. Ishant replacing Yadav was welcomed back with a smack straight down the ground and through the covers for a couple of boundaries by the opener. It was Ravichandran Ashwin who eventually accounted for Rogers with a tossed up delivery which took the inside edge and knocked on the stumps to topple the bails.
Marsh and Joe Burns then took Australia to tea at 174/4. Resuming the innings under the cloudy skies the home team lost the debutant for nine nicking Ishant to Dhoni. Brad Haddin who replaced him added 13 before being caught by the wicketkeeper down the leg side off Yadav.
Marsh continued to prod on and inched towards his half-century as he lost another partner. Mitchell Johnson departed miscuing a Shami bouncer straight to Rahane at mid-wicket.
A while later Marsh crossed the fifty-run mark with a six off Ashwin and carried on till play was ended for the day with Harris.
Earlier India played 15 deliveries and added three runs to their overnight total before being bowled out by Mitchell Johnson. On the second ball of the morning, the pacer skimmed a short delivery past Yadav’s bat through to Brad Haddin behind the stumps and accounted for Shami in his next to wrap up the Indian innings.
Debut: KL Rahul for India and Joe Burns for Australia
End of Day 1: Australia 1st inn 259/5 in 90 overs (S Smith 72*, C Rogers 57, S Watson 52, M Shami 2/55, U Yadav 2/69)
End of Day 2: Australia 1st inn 530 all out in 142.3 overs (S Smith 192, R Harris 74, M Shami 4/138, R Ashwin 3/134); India 1st inn 108/1 in 37 overs (M Vijay 55*, C Pujara25*, R Harris 1/19)
End of Day 3: India 1st inn 462/8 in 126.2 overs (V Kohli 169, A Rahane 147, R Harris 4/69)
End of Day 4: