Aussies take control of the third Test after displaying fine, field bowling

AUSTRALIA appears on track to win the third Test against India after a sublime bowling and closing exhibition on day three at Sydney Cricket Ground.

India were 195-4, trailing by 143 runs, but lost their last six wickets for just 49 runs to be dismissed for 244.
World number one bowler Pat Cummins claimed four wickets and the home team pulled off three brilliant runs to punish a messy run by the tourists. Australia closed at 103-2, leading by 197 runs.
Marnus Labuschange remains unbeaten at 47, while Steve Smith is 29 not out.

If Australia’s top two batsmen continue to build on their great partnership so far on day four, India faces having to chase an extremely unlikely target or batting out more than a full day to avoid defeat.

The four-game series is flat at 1-1, with the final Test in Brisbane starting on January 15
This is the first time in 12 years for India to have three batters running out in the same Test posts and, given that the day has already started, could have cost them the chance to win back-to-back series in Australia, after their first-ever win in the series there in 2018-19.

The first run was the most spectacular as Hanuma Vihari pushed a delivery to the right of Josh Hazlewood midway through and started immediately but the tall fast bowler went down brilliantly and released the ball in one try to beat middle stump.

Cummins said Hazlewood had “made Jonty Rhodes” on BT Sport after playing and that the former South African international, widely regarded as one of the greatest fielders of all time, would have been proud of such an exhibition.

Hazlewood played himself down, telling ABC Grandstand on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, “good luck” that he was in the middle of a bowling season at the time so he wasn’t conditioned.
Ravichandran Ashwin, who has four Test centuries, was caught short of his ground for just 10 as Cummins lifted Ravindra Jadeja’s drive to center and connected, with Labuschagne backing up the stems.
Labuschagne then capped Australia’s fine day in the field, hurrying back from his short leg to turn and throwing the stubs down at the end of the non-striker to dismiss Jasprit Bumrah for a duck.

Cummins underlines position number one
India was also undone by another stellar performance by fast bowler Cummins, who held a disciplined line and length around the top of the stump and eventually wore down the tourists.
Firstly he forced Ajinkya Rahane, leading India in the absence of Virat Kohli, to break on to his bases at 22.
India bounced back as Cheteshwar Pujara landed his way to 50 off 174 balls and hit a more fluent Rishabh Pant 36.
But after Pant took a nasty shot on Cummins’ elbow, Hazlewood then kicked David Warner on the first slip and, four balls later, Cummins got one to pick it up sharply in Pujara, which edged the behind goalkeeper Tim Paine.
India had lost two crucial scoreless wickets and Australia relentlessly cleaned the tail, with Jadeja also taking a blow to his left thumb which meant he did not bow in Australia’s second innings, while goalkeeper Pant was replaced by Wriddhiman Saha in the field.

And the sacking of Australian openers David Warner and Will Pucovski cheaply gave the tourists just a second-of-a-kind encouragement before Labuschagne and Smith set up prestigious before the closure. (BBC Sport)

AUSTRALIA First Innings 338
INDIA First innings o / n 96-2
Rohit Sharma c & b Josh Hazlewood 26
Shubman Gill c Cameron Green b Pat Cummins 50
Cheteshwar Pujara c Tim Paine b Pat Cummins 50
Ajinkya Rahane b Pat Cummins 22
Hanuma Vihari ran out Josh Hazlewood 4
Rishabh Pant c David Warner b Josh Hazlewood 36
Ravindra Jadeja not out 28
Ravichandran Ashwin struck out Pat Cummins 10
Navdeep Saini c Matthew Wade b Mitchell Starc 3
Jasprit Bumrah ran out Marnus Labuschagne 0
Mohammed Siraj c Tim Paine b Pat Cummins 6
Additions: (lb-2, nb-2, w-5) 9
Total: (all out, 100.4 overs) 244
Wicket fall: 1-70, 2-85, 3-117, 4-142, 5-195, 6-195, 7-206, 8-210, 9-216.
Bowling: Mitchell Starc 19-7-61-1 (nb-2), Josh Hazlewood 21-10-43-2 (w-1), Pat Cummins 21.4-10-29-4, Nathan Lyon 31-8-87- 0, Marnus Labuschagne 3-0-11-0, Cameron Green 5-2-11-0.

David Warner lbw Ravichandran Ashwin 13
Will Pucovski c (is.) B Mohammed Siraj 10
Marnus Labuschagne not out 47
Steven Smith not out 29
Additions: (lb-1, nb-3) 4
Total: (two wkts, 29.0 overs) 103
Wicket fall: 1-16, 2-35.
Bowls: Jasprit Bumrah 8-1-26-0, Mohammed Siraj 8-2-20-1 (nb-1), Navdeep Saini 7-1-28-0 (nb-2), Ravichandran Ashwin 6-0-28- 1.