Australia resumed after lunch with no loss for 66 with Aaron Finch (36) & Marcus Harris (28) still in the crease.
The intent still looks strong through plenty of flat bat shots from Harris to help reach his maiden Test 50.
He’s strong flat and straight bat hitter with no rush required to complete a big stand.
Plus his cover shots through the on-side is one of his most active areas to hit on.
That kind of style does resemble Australia’s current Head Coach, Justin Langer.
Not long later, Aaron Finch followed Harris’s lead into a 2nd Test 50 himself.
It’s good to see him on the right track after some doubt whether Finch best bats as an opener or at 5/6 mark.
But it doesn’t matter having used the bowlers well and let his bat do the talking.
The placement isn’t bad too with some executions such as his pull & off-side shots with an excellent eye to beat the bowler via the gaps.
However, Jasprit Bumrah captured him on 50 having found the yorker very well to trap Finch’s front leg.
Bumrah provided that good variation of change to add some spice down in-line and the middle of the stumps.
Hence, it created that hit & miss shot before India found their first wicket of the day.
Mohammed Shami’s spell so far may not have had the fire to burn, unlike Bumrah.
Though, Kohli’s introduction on bringing in Umesh Yadav paid off when he dismissed Usman Khawaja on five.
It’s a quick short ball with extra bounce before Khawaja knicked the cut shot straight to Rishabh Pant’s gloves.
For Khawaja, no foot movement and his head not staying still led to him reaching out to hit the ball.
That isn’t the way Khawaja wanted to continue his spell which doesn’t look good for Australia as they’re now 2-131.
Then adding Hanuma Vihari for some spin too paid off this time capturing Marcus Harris.
It provided not much turn and only a straight line bounce.
Unfortunately, Harris cut it too straight and bounced straight to Ajinkya Rahane at slip.
It’s a nothing shot where Harris should’ve defended with a straight bat or may have spread a bit of room to execute the cut correctly.
Although, it’s a bummer for Harris not to stay on and try chasing his 100.
But great innings to see him earn his first Test half-ton on 70.
Tea Break, Australia 3-145
Shaun Marsh (4*) and Peter Handscomb (8*) remained in the middle for Australia.
Apart from that, it’s a downhill session having lost three wickets.
Think it’s a standard going one step forward, two steps going backward having panicked at the wrong time.
Providing nothing cross-bat shots & getting hit when not moving too much have given India the upper hand this time.
So Australia must go back to batting basics such as moving the feet closer to the ball at all times.
Doesn’t matter what style these guys play their shots as long as they wait for the ball to come to them & not stay still and hit the shot.
That way it will help Handscomb & S.Marsh stay long in the middle and pressure the Indian bowlers.
On the other hand, India has got their bowling right.
Attacking the stumps & the bouncy short ball with pace helped thanks to the change of variety into the attack.
Credit to Virat Kohli for the change of tactics plus some bowlers who contributed one apiece:
- Jasprit Bumrah
- Umesh Yadav
- Hanuma Vihari
If these three plus Mohammed Shami can continue shredding Australia’s batting Top 6, then India is well up on the front foot.