Aussies take control of third Test after fine bowling, fielding display
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Ravichandran Ashwin was one of the three India batsmen to be run-out on day three.
Ravichandran Ashwin was one of the three India batsmen to be run-out on day three.

AUSTRALIA appear on course to win the third Test against India after a sublime bowling and fielding display on day three at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

India were 195-4, trailing by 143 runs, but lost their last six wickets for just 49 runs to be dismissed for 244.
World number one bowler Pat Cummins claimed four wickets and the home side pulled off three superb run-outs to punish sloppy running by the tourists. Australia closed on 103-2, a lead of 197 runs.
Marnus Labuschange remains unbeaten on 47, while Steve Smith is 29 not out.

If Australia’s best two batsmen continue to build on their fine partnership so far on day four, India face having to chase a highly improbable target or bat out more than a full day to avoid defeat.

The four-match series is level at 1-1, with the final Test in Brisbane starting on January 15
This is the first time in 12 years India have had three batsmen run-out in the same Test innings and, given the day started finely poised, it could well have cost them the chance of back-to-back series wins in Australia, after their first-ever series victory there in 2018-19.

The first run-out was the most spectacular as Hanuma Vihari pushed a delivery to the right of Josh Hazlewood at mid-on and immediately set off but the tall fast bowler got down brilliantly and released the ball in one motion to knock out middle stump.

Cummins said that Hazlewood had “done a Jonty Rhodes” on BT Sport after play and the former South Africa international, widely regarded as one of the best fielders of all-time, would indeed have been proud of such a display.

Hazlewood himself played it down, telling ABC Grandstand on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra that is was “good luck” he was in the middle of a bowling spell at the time so had not stiffened up.
Ravichandran Ashwin, who has four Test centuries, was caught short of his ground for just 10 as Cummins swiftly picked up Ravindra Jadeja’s drive to mid-on and connected, with Labuschagne backing up the stumps.
Then Labuschagne capped off Australia’s exquisite day in the field, hustling back from short leg to turn and throw down the stumps at the non-striker’s end to dismiss Jasprit Bumrah for a duck.

Cummins underlines number one ranking
India were also undone by another stellar performance from fast bowler Cummins, who held a disciplined line and length around the top of off-stump and eventually wore the tourists down.
First he forced Ajinkya Rahane, leading India in the absence of Virat Kohli, to chop on to his stumps for 22.
India fought back as Cheteshwar Pujara ground his way to 50 off 174 balls and Rishabh Pant hit a more fluent 36.
But after Pant took a nasty blow on the elbow from Cummins, he then nicked Hazlewood to David Warner at first slip and, four balls later, Cummins got one to lift sharply at Pujara, who edged behind to keeper Tim Paine.
India had lost two crucial wickets without scoring and Australia ruthlessly cleaned up the tail, with Jadeja also taking a blow to his left thumb that meant he did not bowl in Australia’s second innings, while keeper Pant was replaced by Wriddhiman Saha in the field.

And dismissing Australia openers David Warner and Will Pucovski cheaply provided only momentary encouragement for the tourists before Labuschagne and Smith bedded in imposingly before the close. (BBC Sport)

AUSTRALIA 1st innings 338
INDIA 1st innings o/n 96-2
Rohit Sharma c & b Josh Hazlewood 26
Shubman Gill c Cameron Green b Pat Cummins 50
Cheteshwar Pujara c Tim Paine b Pat Cummins 50
Ajinkya Rahane b Pat Cummins 22
Hanuma Vihari run out Josh Hazlewood 4
Rishabh Pant c David Warner b Josh Hazlewood 36
Ravindra Jadeja not out 28
Ravichandran Ashwin run out Pat Cummins 10
Navdeep Saini c Matthew Wade b Mitchell Starc 3
Jasprit Bumrah run out Marnus Labuschagne 0
Mohammed Siraj c Tim Paine b Pat Cummins 6
Extras: (lb-2, nb-2, w-5) 9
Total: (all out, 100.4 overs) 244
Fall of wickets: 1-70, 2-85, 3-117, 4-142, 5-195, 6-195, 7-206, 8-210, 9-216.
Bowling: Mitchell Starc 19-7-61-1 (nb-2), Josh Hazlewood 21-10-43-2 (w-1), Pat Cummins 21.4-10-29-4, Nathan Lyon 31-8-87-0, Marnus Labuschagne 3-0-11-0, Cameron Green 5-2-11-0.

AUSTRALIA 2nd innings
David Warner lbw Ravichandran Ashwin 13
Will Pucovski c (sub.) b Mohammed Siraj 10
Marnus Labuschagne not out 47
Steven Smith not out 29
Extras: (lb-1, nb-3) 4
Total: (two wkts, 29.0 overs) 103
Fall of wickets: 1-16, 2-35.
Bowling: Jasprit Bumrah 8-1-26-0, Mohammed Siraj 8-2-20-1 (nb-1), Navdeep Saini 7-1-28-0 (nb-2), Ravichandran Ashwin 6-0-28-1.

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