India's middle and lower-order failed to get going owing to which, the visitors were bowled out for 244 in the second session on day three of the third Test against Australia on Saturday at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
As a result, Australia has now taken a lead of 94 runs over the visitors. The second session saw six wickets falling for 64 runs. Cheteshwar Pujara and Shubman Gill scored half-centuries for India, while Pat Cummins scalped four wickets.
Resuming the second session of the third day at 180/4, Rishabh Pant and Pujara saw off the first few overs with the second new ball, and the duo brought up their 50-run stand in the 87th over of the innings. However, in the very next over, Josh Hazlewood had Pant (36) caught at first slip reducing India to 195/5.
Pujara who registered his slowest fifty in Test cricket was sent back to the pavilion almost immediately after bringing up the individual milestone. Cummins, who bothered the visitors from the very start, got the crucial wicket of Pujara (50) and India was sent in a further slump. Ravichandran Ashwin (10) also lost his wicket after a miscommunication with Ravindra Jadeja in the middle pushing India to a meagre 206/7. Jadeja remained unbeaten on 28.
Going for the kill, skipper Tim Paine introduced Mitchell Starc back into the attack, and the pacer unsettled Navdeep Saini with a short-ball barrage which resulted in Saini's (4) dismissal. Jadeja and Mohammad Siraj added 28 crucial runs, but in the end, the visitors were bowled out for 244, giving Australia a lead of 94 runs. There were three run-outs in the Indian innings, while Cummins picked four wickets.
Earlier, at the lunch interval, India's score read 180/4 with Pujara and Pant still at the crease. In the first session, Australia managed to get the breakthroughs of Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari.
Cummins had clean bowled Rahane (22) in the 55th over of the innings while Vihari faced 38 balls for his four runs, and was finally sent back to the pavilion by Hazlewood via a run-out.
India had bundled out Australia for 338 in the first innings. Steve Smith top-scored for the hosts as he played an innings of 131 runs while Jadeja gained four wickets for the hosts. Gill scored a half-century and stitched a 70-run opening stand along with Rohit Sharma.
Brief Scores: Australia 338; India 244 (Cheteshwar Pujara 50, Shubman Gill 50, Pat Cummins 4-29).
( With inputs from ANI )
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