Millennium Post

Kumar triple rocks oz

With Australia reeling at 75 for three in their second innings and trailing by 16 runs at stumps on day four Saturday, India were sniffing at a chance of a win going into the final day’s play in the third cricket Test here.

After India were bowled out for 499 in their first innings replying to Australia’s 408, India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni pressed the attack button from the word go as Australia came out to bat in Sunday’s last session.

Dhoni’s trick worked as medium pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar rattled the top order with his swinging deliveries, taking all the three wickets. Resuming the day at 283/0, India’s debutant Shikhar Dhawan (187) could add only two more runs in the morning to his record breaking knock, falling 13 short of a double century.

Dhawan Saturday scored the fastest ton (85 balls) on debut in recorded cricketing history. His 187 is also the highest by an Indian debutant and sixth highest in the world. Murali Vijay (152), who played a mere support role to Dhawan on the third day, anchored the Indian innings Sunday scoring his third Test century in the process and second of the series. His innings included 19 splendid boundaries and three huge sixes. Batting great Sachin Tendulkar (37) provided good support to Vijay before falling to leg spinner Steven Smith. After the exit of Vijay and Tendulkar, the lower order did not contribute much barring Virat Kohli, who remained unbeaten on 67.

Fast bowler Peter Siddle was the pick of the bowlers for Australia as he clinched the seventh five-wicket haul of his career (5/71). Left arm pacer Mitchel Starc also provided the important breakthroughs of Vijay and Dhoni (4), leading to the slide of the Indian batting order. Moises Henriques, Nathan Lyon and Smith took a wicket each to bowl out India, who ended with a lead of 91 runs. In reply, Bhuvneshwar provided another superb spell of swing bowling on a dry and flat fourth day wicket to dismiss the three Australian wickets to fall, the first one coming on the third ball of the second innings.

Only Phillip Hughes stood out among the Australian batsmen as David Warner (2), Ed Cowan (8) and Smith (5) walked back to the pavilion almost as quickly as they came out of it. At stumps, Hughes and nightwatchman Lyon were batting at 53 and 4, respectively.

Australia’s in-form skipper Michael Clarke, who batted at No.3 in the first innings, had a sore back and did not come out to bat. There is speculation he might not bat Monday either which will give the home side an even better chance to take an unassailable 3-0 lead going into the fourth and final Test in New Delhi beginning March 22.


In-form India opener Murali Vijay reckons that India are well on course for their third consecutive win as it won’t be easy for Australia to bat out the final day and save the third Test match on Monday.

‘The ball has been swinging from day one, different conditions here, there is reverse swing happening. The wicket is slower and lower and it’s going to be difficult for them tomorrow,’ Vijay, who cracked 153, his second century in a row, told reporters.  After conceding a 91-run first innings lead, the visitors were struggling at 75 for three at stumps, on the penultimate day with Bhuvneshwar producing a brilliant spell to remove openers David Warner (2), Ed Cowan (8) and Steven Smith (5), who was promoted ahead of injured captain Michael Clarke.

At stumps, Phillip Hughes (53 batting) is fighting hard in the company of night-watchman Nathan Lyon (4).  ‘We are in a pretty good position at the moment considering the wicket and everything, and there is nothing to be worried about,’ the 28-year-old opener from Tamil Nadu said, when asked about India’s position in the match.  As far as his batting was concerned, he said he was working hard on it.  ‘I am working hard on my game, especially from that second innings in Chennai. I wanted to go the hard way, so tried to stay longer at the crease,’ he said.
Next Story
Share it