Test Cricket: 2018-19 Domain Test Series 3rd Test of Australia v India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Day 3 Morning Session Review

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Australia resume on 0-8 as Aaron Finch & Marcus Harris returned work at the crease.

However, Australia suffered the loss of both openers early in the hands of the Indian bowlers.

First up, Aaron Finch on eight.

Finch was looking to hit a bit late flicking through mid-wicket for four.

But Finch just saw Mayank Agarwal at that region where he took the catch with both hands.

Finch failed to try and hit down low rather than whacking on the middle of the bat.

Hence, he didn’t present the full face of the bat.

So going for the scoop looks somewhat a risk shot to take that exposed Finch’s weaknesses as a Test Opener.

On the other hand, excellent ball from Ishant Sharma in targeting the stumps.

Sharma produced it full and straight with plenty of pace to make the batsman play.

And to help secure his first wicket, Virat Kohli placed Agarwal at the short mid-wicket position which made it click.

Not long later, Jasprit Bumrah ticked off Australia’s 2nd wicket fall on Marcus Harris (22).

From Bumrah, it’s a short ball play where it does not directly target the stumps.

But Bumrah kept a decent straight line and length producing some spice.

Harris again tried to execute the hook shot for four before Ishant Sharma ended his spell at fine leg.

He may have got off to a great start with plenty of basic flat bat shots.

After he reached on 22, Harris decided whacked early hoping he had enough of the Indian fast bowlers.

Unfortunately, that approach again failed like his Opening partner, Aaron Finch had done a while ago.

Not only the Indian fast bowlers have done some workload into this morning.

But so too in the spinning department.

That’s where Ravinder Jadeja captured Usman Khawaja on 21.

Jadeja produced a decent attacking line with a little turn before Khawaja edged straight to Agarwal at short leg.

Khawaja only defended the bat in front of the pad where he’s just reaching out for the ball.

If he defended with the bat and pad close together, then Khawaja would’ve survived.

On the last ball before lunch, Bumrah struck his 2nd victim on Shaun Marsh (19) as Australia’s batting card went from bad to worse.

Again, Bumrah pitched up full and straight which pitched slowly before S. Marsh just waited for a little too late.

And S.Marsh’s mistake to jump and defend the bat far forward caused him to get hit in the pad.

Lunch Day 3: Australia 4-89 & trails by 354 runs.

This session from India continued to put faith in this one word to get the job done.

Attack.

Yes, that approach plus Virat Kohli’s tactics regarding changes in the field held Australia back.

Bowling straight and always targeting these three stumps no matter what variation they pitch at any pace is still a good ball.

It makes the batsman play which forced four of Australia’s batsmen make a couple of mistakes:

  • Hesitating when defending where they pushed the bat forward far from the pad
  • Playing loose and high-risk shots before any fielder can catch correctly with gentle hands.

Virat Kohli and co should be proud of themselves from what they’ve done this morning.

If India can demolish the entire Australia Top 7, then they can quickly wrap up the 3rd Test by following on.

On the other hand, Australia couldn’t remain patient where a couple of cross-bat shots is pretty much risk v reward.

Unfortunately, it took immense grief when Australia lost four of their best batsmen.

And the shot selection looks weird and confusing rather than sticking to basics with a straight bat.

They cannot guarantee to score runs off shots into the air which is disappointing.

Even the way they defend is sub-par where S. Marsh copped that LBW just before lunch.

When Travis Head (18*) & Mitchell Marsh come back out, they need to keep it simple as long as they can.

If they can do that & score runs off the flat bat, then the Indian bowling attack will become tired.

And in return, it’s up to the batsman to capitalize on that frustration and close the gap of what India asked Australia to bat late yesterday.

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