Australia left off from the end of Day 1 at 166-2. Steve Smith made his way into the 30 run mark. He is finally ended his string of single digit scores in the first two Tests.
Marnus Labuschagne on the other hand continues on 67 not out. Play have gone on and off initially due to rain. But play resumed not long afterwards. Marnus worked his way into the nervous 90s section. Having pushed Australia in the 200 run mark. But his movement is too far deep on the back foot. And forced the knock towards Ajinkya Rahane at slip.
India may have won this AM alone with two additional scalps. Ravi Jadeja added Matthew Wade (13) on the list alongside Marnus. Matty picked off a good ball unfortunately. There is not enough space to execute it. As well as a lack of balance saw his spell closed early. When Jasprit Bumrah took the catch at mid-on.
Before Bumrah returned with the ball & bowled a good line/speed. That good ball kept it straight before it targeted left stump. Good areas there to make Cam Green mistimed that shot. And it his pad rather than bat to give Cam the LBW. But the only man India unable to chase down is Steve Smith. He too secured his half-ton ahead of lunch. Australia are now 254-5.
India continued to be lightning with the ball. Bumrah cannot change anything regarding his run-up. And action via another clean bowled on the skipper Tim Paine (1). So does the rest of the tail order handled at large by Jadeja. He already dealt Pat Cummins (bowled) & Nathan Lyon (LBW). The spin friendly track in Sydney benefitted his game. While Navdeep Saini got his 2nd scalp on Mitch Starc. It might not be a hard task for sure.
The only one India unable to hold accountable is Steve Smith. He continued to rise from his early poor from. Before Smudgey secured his 100. He deserved a huge celebration. As big as Lleyton Hewitt’s C’mon catchphrase. Every time this guy wins a set/game in tennis. There is every intent shown ball after ball. Then Smudgey executed these balls that do come to him. And converted into these super shots that brighten this Test match.
Steve Smith chased runs a little longer when Australia reached 330-335. But his time came to an end with the run out from Jadeja. He ended his comeback batting spell on 131. And helped his team set 338 for India to respond shortly. Everyone almost given up on Smith. But he showed oozes of class which means it is permanent. Not temporary as in just form.
The away side fired off steady in return with the returning Rohit Sharma. He is the one who replaced the underperforming Mayank Agarwal. Nothing dramatic this time as it was in Tests 1 & 2. While Shubman Gill kept his spot from the 2nd Test. And he too began to pile the runs.
India stayed wicketless before & after tea at 26-0. It took a while for Australia to split this partnership. Before Josh Hazlewood caught & bowled Sharma out on 26. That breakthrough may not denied Shubman Gill his maiden Test 50. But they got Gill out immediately. Offered no shot other than reached for the ball. When it knicked to Cam Green at point. India hang on unscathed at the end of Day 2. They are 96-2 & trails by 242 runs. With Cheteshwar Pujara (9) & Ajinkya Rahane (5). Both will resume batting tomorrow.
Not a bad spell with the ball from India for some time. Except when they are unable to get Steve Smith away. And left it too late until the very end. Having a century against you is a tough ask to respond in return. So far India lost both openers all in the final session. They will need two of the best top order guys to hang in there. That helped Rahane get his 100 last time. Even without a Virat Kohli less side. But it is all about meeting that 242 run trail. Before building a competitive total to flip out.
Australia may have suffered on other areas with the hesitant shots. It really scared them when India won the opening session alone. But they got saved by one man in Steve Smith. He showed a lot of class with movement. As well as the patience to meet the ball reflected his comeback 100 in return. He helped the Aussies set 338. And so far the quicks done a great job cleaning both openers before stumps. Good time to rest up now & come back stronger. Do not change anything if there is a good area. And stick to it to add the pressure back to the batsman.