Australia ended the third day’s play on 132/4, with a lead of 175 runs against India at the Optus Stadium in Perth on Sunday.
The hosts got off to a good start in the morning when Nathan Lyon dismissed India’s vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane for 51, thus ending his 91-run partnership with captain Virat Kohli at the other end.
Kohli, who had played a defiant role on the second day and didn’t let the match slip away from their grasp, then added 50 more runs with Hanuma Vihari, who had come into the side in place of the injured Rohit Sharma.
The partnership between Vihari and Kohli looked threatening as India slowly edged closer to the Aussie total but just when the balance looked to tilt in favour of the visitors, Australia struck and when Hazelwood had Vihari caught behind. This was the break from which India truly never recovered as Kohli, from herein played a lone hand as he went on to score a hundred–his 25th in Test cricket and sixth in Australia. His 123 was largely the reason for India getting closer to the Oz total.
Young wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant, who had taken a record number of catches in the last Test played a cameo of 46runs before falling to Lyon who ended with five wickets, on a surface that was thought to not assist the spinners.
Having attained a 43-run lead, Australia got off to good start with openers Marcus Harris and Aaron Finch registering a 59-run stand. But a rising delivery from Mohammad Shami hit Finch on the hand which had the right-hander.
Harris felt to the trap of leaving an away going delivery from Jasprit Bumrah with the ball clipping the top of off-stump.
This dismissal was followed by Shaun Marsh falling to a catch by Rishabh Pant off the bowling off Mohammad Shami. Shami struck once again to remove a determined looking Travis Head for 19 Australia ended their day with 132/4.