Melbourne Test Match – Australia ahead despite Rahane-Kohli dazzle

0
253

December 28, 2014

Brief Scorecard: India 8 for 462 (Kohli 169, Rahane 147) trail Australia 530 by 68 runs

Virat Kohli (169) and Ajinkya Rahane (147) put on 262 runs for the fourth wicket, before India witnessed an all-too-familiar collapse yet again as Australia fought back to keep them to 462 for 8.

December 28, 2014

Brief Scorecard: India 8 for 462 (Kohli 169, Rahane 147) trail Australia 530 by 68 runs

Virat Kohli (169) and Ajinkya Rahane (147) put on 262 runs for the fourth wicket, before India witnessed an all-too-familiar collapse yet again as Australia fought back to keep them to 462 for 8.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – India had done well to reach 108 for 1 at the end of the second day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, but having allowed Australia to get as many as 530 runs in the first innings, they weren't out of the woods yet, and the onus was on the batsmen to bring the game back in the balance.

For much of Sunday (December 28), the third day of the third Test, Virat Kohli (169) and Ajinkya Rahane (147) did just that, putting on 262 runs for the fourth wicket. However, India witnessed an all-too-familiar collapse yet again as Australia fought back to keep India to 462 for 8, still trailing by 68 runs when stumps were drawn with Kohli falling to what became the last ball of the day from Mitchell Johnson.

The day did not begin well for India, with Cheteshwar Pujara falling off the day’s second ball. Pujara tried executing the cut, but the ball wasn't wide enough and he was cramped for room. Brad Haddin, who had offered Pujara a reprieve when he was on 12, made up for his mistake, diving full length to his right to pluck a stunning one-handed catch as Pujara's struggles to convert his starts continued.

    What a catch from Brad Haddin!! #AUSvIND#HorizontalHaddinpic.twitter.com/Vyp9b82TOn

    — Jack Mendel (@JackMendel4) December 27, 2014

Kohli then joined M Vijay and the duo kept things steady, adding 39 runs in 75 balls before Vijay was caught at first slip after a loose cut shot, having played with exemplary control in making 68 till then.

That brought Kohli and Rahane together. The duo matched each other stroke for stroke and India made as many as 112 runs in the post-lunch session. Both batsmen put on a stunning display, and were equally effective on either side of the wicket as India went into tea at 336 for 3, having already avoided the follow-on mark.

The duo resumed on a positive note after the break, taking their stand past the 200-run mark. Rahane fell trying to sweep Nathan Lyon, having struck a boundary with a similar shot just off the previous ball. But the ball was fuller and straighter and Rahane was trapped leg before, leaving India 409 for 4.

That triggered a collapse. KL Rahul, the debutant, didn't last long. Offered a reprieve when Peter Siddle spilled a chance at midwicket, Rahul was out the very next ball looking an expansive sweep from outside off.

Ryan Harris was the wrecker-in-chief, ending the day with 4 for 69 in 25 overs – just reward for a sustained spell of controlled bowling. He got MS Dhoni when the Indian captain was caught behind off a length ball in the channel, and then caught Ashwin off his own bowling.

Mitchell Johnson and Virat Kohli exchange words, Australia v India, 3rd Test, Melbourne, 3rd day, December 28, 2014

The key strike came when Johnson, who Kohli was especially severe on earlier in the day, had the last laugh, getting the batsman to chase a full and wide delivery only another stunning catch behind the stumps – Hadding ending the day as he had begun it.


Courtesy: Wisden India