Twitter Reactions: Pat Cummins' four-fer skittles India for 244; Australia bossing Sydney Test

Australia ended Day 3 at 103/2 extending the lead to 197.

Pat Cummins
Pat Cummins. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

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Day 3 is said to be the moving day of a Test match and certainly, the ongoing Sydney Test between Australia and India moved a lot on Saturday. The hosts bowled extremely well on a flat pitch inducing mistakes from the opposition batsmen. They first skittled India for just 244 runs to take a crucial 94-run lead and then extended it to 197 by stumps on the third day.

Resuming the day at 96/2, Australia also employed the strategy that India did bowling at the stumps with a packed leg-side field. However, they couldn’t break the partnership between Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane in the first half-hour. The latter looked comfortable in the middle as well smacking Nathan Lyon for a six but a short delivery from Pat Cummins stayed low to surprise Rahane and chopped it onto his stumps.

Pujara, at the other end, was just blocking everything that came his way. Runs were hard to come by and that prompted Hanuma Vihari to go for a non-existent single only to be undone by the brilliance from Josh Hazlewood. At 142/4, India looked in trouble but Rishabh Pant‘s arrival brought some quick runs with Pujara maneuvering Lyon nicely with his footwork.

The duo batted well to keep India four down until lunch. But the second new ball, much like Australia, undid India as well. The only difference here was the lower-order contributions from both the teams. While the visitors were bundled out for 244 after being 195/4 at one stage, Australia added 60 more runs despite losing their 7th wicket at 278.

Pant looked good for his 36 but was unsettled after being hit on his elbow and eventually edged one to slip off Hazlewood. Cummins then once again (4th time in the series) got the better of Pujara and it took a beauty of a delivery to send back India’s number three who had notched up his career’s slowest fifty (off 176 balls) only a couple of overs ago.

Ravi Ashwin and Jasprit Bumrah then got run-out while it was Ravindra Jadeja who scored up crucial 28 runs to add as many for the last wicket before Mohammed Siraj was dismissed. India got folded for 244 conceding a huge lead of 94 runs to Australia. Cummins picked up a sensational four-wicket haul going for only 29 runs in 21.4 overs.

Injury-hit India leak runs in 2nd innings

Rishabh Pant was sent for elbow scans even as Ravindra Jadeja didn’t take the field as the southpaw was hit on the thumb by a Mitchell Starc bouncer while batting. India’s bowling, thereby, weakened and Australia made full use of it. Their openers though were back in the hut with only 35 runs on the board. Will Pucovski edged one behind off Siraj was Ashwin pinned David Warner in front of stumps as hopes of an India comeback raised.

But the duo of Marnus Labuchagne and Steve Smith once again pummelled the Indian bowling. Runs also came at a brisk rate as the visitors badly missed Ravindra Jadeja’s guile who was also sent for scans when the second innings was in progress. Australia ended the day at 103/2 after 29 overs with an overall lead of 197 runs firmly sitting in the drivers’ seat.

They are expected to call the shots in the rest of the Test match and it remains to be seen how they bat on the fourth morning in order to give themselves enough time to bowl out India again and take a 2-1 lead in the series.

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