India were bowled out for 244 in their first innings to concede a 94-run lead to Australia on the third day of the third Test here at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday. Pat Cummins was the wrecker-in-chief taking four for 29.
India had lost just two wickets in the first session and managed to score 84 runs in that pre-lunch period as Cheteshwar Pujara (50) and Rishabh Pant (36) looked to resurrect the innings following the early loss of skipper Ajinkya Rahane (22) and Hanuma Vihari (4).
However, post-lunch, they succumbed to the new ball as the Aussie pace duo Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins kept an immaculate line and length. India lost four wickets for 15 runs to lose track.
Cummins was the first to get under India’s skin as he hit Pant on his elbow. The left-handed wicketkeeper-batsman seemed to have got rattled after that and went for an expansive drive off Hazlewood only to edge it to first slip.
Pujara was the next to fall, in the next over, as he nicked a back-of-the-length delivery from Cummins to wicketkeeper Tim Paine.
That opened up the tail. R Ashwin and Navdeep Saini followed soon after and so did Jasprit Bumrah.
The last wicket between Ravindra Jadeja (28 not out) and Mohammed Siraj added 28 runs with Jadeja doing bulk of the scoring.
As many as three batsmen were run out — Vihari, Ashwin and Bumrah.
Ravindra Jadeja’s ability to bowl dot balls that can put pressure on the
opposition will be missed, said India No. 3 batsman Cheteshwar Pujara after the left-arm spinner could not take field in Australia’s second innings due to injury to his left thumb. Jadeja took a blow to his left thumb off a Mitchell Starc delivery. The all-rounder had picked four wickets in Australia’s first innings and effected a run-out from the deep to send back centurion Steve Smith. He followed it up with a fighting 28 not out in India’s first innings.
“It is never easy when you lose a bowler especially someone like Ravindra Jadeja who got four wickets in the first innings and who can keep bowling from one end and can land the ball at one spot all the time. He is someone who puts lot of pressure on the batters as he bowls a lot of dot balls. He is very valuable on the field, not just as a bowler but as fielder also. Losing him is a blow,” said Pujara.
India are already missing Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma.