MCG Test: Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja dent Australia on third morning
Jasprit Bumrah took two wickets on the third morning at the MCG. © AFP

Cheteshwar Pujara, after top-scoring in India‘s first-innings total of 443/7 declared from 169.4 overs, said after stumps on day two that the visiting team had enough runs on the board to put Australia under the pump on an MCG pitch with variable bounce.

On the third morning of the third Test, those words rang loud as Australia went into lunch on 89/4 having lost Shaun Marsh to the final ball of the morning.

Two wickets in the first hour gave India reason to celebrate, and Ravindra Jadeja‘s extraction of Usman Khawaja just after the drinks break brought into play the variable bounce that Pujara spoke of.

Virat Kohli backed his new-ball quicks to strike early on Friday and they did. Aaron Finch (8) was excellently held at short midwicket by the Mayank Agarwal, who fell to his left to catch a whip off Ishant Sharma. Soon after, Ishant held an easy catch at long leg as Marcus Harris (22) was hurried into a mistimed pull shot by Jasprit Bumrah. Australia had lost their openers in the span of 18 balls.

Australia scored 32 runs in the first hour.

Just after the drinks break, Jadeja – in his third over – had Khawaja (21) stabbing uneasily at a clever slower delivery and inside-edging to Agarwal at short leg. Jadeja’s first over of the day, earlier in the session, saw one delivery kick up dust and another keep low. The threat of the left-arm spinner, who did not look at full tilt when bowling, was massive.

Marsh was kept scoreless for 16 deliveries, had four catchers crowd the bat and held out against Jadeja, who fired in darts to keep the fielders interested. Travis Head survived two lbw shouts and one appeal each for a stumping and close-in catch. Jadeja targeted the rough outside both left-handers’ feet and landed them with consistency, while Bumrah returned for a burst before lunch and tempted Marsh and Head outside off stump.

After a series of leaves in the final over before lunch, Marsh was pinged right in front of the stumps by a terrific slower ball, full and shaping in, that dipped and totally foxed him. A tremendous session for India capped with a tremendous delivery. Pujara’s assessment has proved spot on.

Lunch: Australia 89/4 trail India 443/7 declared by 354 runs