Join us for updates, analysis and colour from the third day of the Sydney Test
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10.28am local/4.58am IST: More of the same…and then a wicket
India ended their day making nine off the last ten overs yesterday, and it’s generally acceptable to attribute such a scoring rate to the caution of batsmen trying to bat to stumps. In this case though, it was mostly a reminder of how good this Australian bowling attack is – and that the pitch is showing glimpses of being up and down. And there’s more of exactly that in the opening half hour today. They’ve come with containment plans, with catchers in the leg side and a short-pitched strategy, and some balls kicking up the batsmen. Apart from one half-volley that Ajinkya Rahane has put away, Australia have given nothing away. Only 11 off the first seven overs of the day.
India’s batsmen did cop some criticism for their scoring rate last evening, but Ajinkya Rahane’s wicket – chopping Cummins on, a short one dipping in and getting big off the pitch – was just proof that looking to play attacking shots is just not a straightforward proposition.
9.55am local/4.25am IST: Welcome back!
Even well past the halfway stage of this series, these teams continue to set us up for the best days. A day of ten wickets yesterday, but also a day of 238 runs – figures that show that the quality of bowling has sustained. By the end of the day, Australia used the wickets of India’s openers to their advantage and completely shut off scoring options for Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, who have been greeted by probably the brightest and warmest morning of the Test this morning. It’s also the flattest pitch of any in the series so far. One might even argue that it’s the kind of surface Pujara feasts on. It’s the one thing India haven’t had yet this series, a feast for their No. 3 man. He’ll be well up for this opportunity today and that is challenge number one for Australia’s bowlers.
Varun Shetty is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo
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