Saturday Jan 09, 2021
Pat Cummins led the Australian bowling attack as they dismissed India for 244 all out on day three giving the hosts a 94-run lead after the first innings of the third Test at Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday.
The first innings stars Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith are on crease with Australia 103 for two at stumps on third day leading Australia to a commanding 197-run lead over the guests.
They came to bat after Will Pucovski and David Warner fell early in the high–stakes third Test taking the team to a strong position as the four-match series is currently locked at 1-1.
Labuschagne, who scored 91 in the first innings, was not out on 47 and Smith, who blitzed 131 in his first knock, unbeaten on 29.
Australia padded up again after taking eight wickets on day three to dismiss India for 244 in reply to the hosts´ 338.
"I woke up today hoping that by the close of play we still wouldn´t be bowling and to have a lead of near 200, a great day," said Australian pace spearhead Pat Cummins, who took 4-29.
"I think we need (to bat) for at least a session-and-a half, two sessions tomorrow and then have a good crack at them."
India were all out just before tea after some scintillating bowling and razor-sharp fielding, having resumed at the Sydney Cricket Ground on 96 for two.
Cummins snared Pujara while Josh Hazlewood removed a dangerous Pant after a breezy 36.
The pair´s downfall saw the team crumble, with Ashwin and Jasprit Bumrah both run out, joining Hanuma Vihari who suffered the same fate earlier in the day.
A cautious Pujara began the day on nine and captain Ajinkya Rahane two after Hazlewood and Cummins dismissed openers Rohit Sharma (26) and Shubman Gill (50) on Friday.
Rahane, who scored a century in the last Test at Melbourne, had an escape on 16, with a Nathan Lyon delivery ballooning to Matthew Wade at short leg, who could only get his fingertips on the ball.
The skipper then whacked Lyon for six before his new-found aggression cost him his wicket, chopping a Cummins ball onto his stumps in the next over.
Pujara did what he does best, grinding out singles while occasionally opening his bat, bringing up his 26th half-century.
But the celebrations were short-lived, with Pant out two balls later, edging a Hazlewood delivery to Warner at slip.
And it got worse when Pujara was removed in the next over, gloving a rising Cummins ball to wicketkeeper Tim Paine.
"We need to pick up a couple of early wickets tomorrow morning and not allow them free runs in the first session," said Chesteshwar Pujara, who scored a patient half-century.