By Ian Ransom
MELBOURNE, Dec.28 (Reuters) – Australia passed through India’s last five wickets ahead of lunch on day three of the second test in Melbourne on Sunday, but will have to fight to set a target for tourists.
India were eliminated for 326 points, after building a 131-point lead in response to Australia’s 195 opening innings.
Spinner Nathan Lyon took two wickets in the morning and finished with 3-72, while Mitchell Starc had 3-78.
India had taken over the 277 for five, with alternate captain Ajinkya Rahane and Ravindra Jadeja looking to forge a big lead under cloudy skies that cleared under a bright sun.
Those hopes were dashed when Jadeja missed the Indian skipper for 112, hitting short cover and taking off for a single that was never really there.
Marnus Labuschagne pitted and Tim Paine whipped the bail with Rahane a few inches away.
After missing Virat Kohli in Adelaide’s test, Rahane was at the reception in Melbourne, but it was a disappointing end for an inspiring 223-ball shot.
A suddenly perky Australia escalated the chatter and Starc began to throw Jadeja with bouncers.
Seemingly shaken, Jadeja fired a short ball towards the deep midwicket where Cummins rushed forward and knelt down to take a nice, low catch. Jadeja was absent for 57.
Despite a 14 handy run from Ravichandran Ashwin, India’s tail quickly collapsed as Lyon caught Yadav behind the wicket for nine.
Paceman Josh Hazlewood took his only wicket a few balls later when Ashwin shot straight at Lyon in the covers.
Lyon came full circle when Jasprit Bumrah shot Travis Head from the depths to come out for a first ball duck.