India vs Australia, 3rd Test, Day 2 Live Cricket Score and Updates: Australia 8/0 after India declare on 443 for 7

– With the surface beginning to throw a few puzzles, how will Australia’s batsmen fare against a strong Indian bowling attack? Join us tomorrow for another riveting day of action. Till then, good day.

– And there we have it. End of the day’s play. Australia negotiate those seven dreaded overs safely and finish on 8/0. It wasn’t easy but Marcus Harris and Aaron Finch saw off the overs and left the rest for tomorrow. Right then, another fine day for India, to put 443 for 7 declared on the board. Pujara led the way with his 17th Test century, and Virat Kohli scored 82. And although both their dismissals in quick succession lifted Australia, Rohit Sharma’s unbeaten half-century and a couple of useful contributrions from Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant gave India a strong total.

– Wonderful move from India. Ravindra Jadeja handed the ball. What can he do here?

– Four overs gone and the pitch is starting to do a few things here. The odd ball is keeping low and Australia’s openers, alert to the situation, play out two maidens.

– Nice disciplined first over from Ishant. Australia off the mark. Two for no loss after the first over. Six more overs remain.

– Right then, the Indians are out there, with almost a spring in their step. A long team huddle where an animated Kohli was giving instructions and Ishant Sharma was listening carefully. This has been India’s day, with Australia winning a few key moments. Can they finish the day on a high with a wicket here? Let’s find out.

THE DECLARATION HAS ARRIVED: India call off their innings at 443 for 7, Rohit remains unbeaten on 63. This means that India’s bowlers have roughly seven overs and about 25 minutes to have a crack at Australia today. Jadeja was the last Indian wicket to fall after which Kohli signalled his batsmen to return.

OUT: Pant perishes in a bid to accelerate the innings. India 437 for 6. Slightly short from Starc and Pant tries to pull it. But the ball takes the top edge and goes high in the air. Usman Khawaja got under it and took it safely. The 76-run entertaining stand comes to an end. Jadeja meanwhile, has

Fifty for Rohit Sharma, first outside Asia since 2015: Welcome back to Test cricket, Rohit. After missing out in Adelaide and not playing the second Test in Perth, this is a strong way for Rohit to establish himself in the only format he is yet to cement a place in. 10th Test fifty for him – his first outside Asia since 2015 and an extremely crucial one as well. He came when India had lost two wickets – of Pujara and Kohli – in a space of six deliveries, and played in to ensure that India continued to build.

400: Yup, India have brought up the highest total of the series so far, for the loss of five wickets. Rohit brings it with a boundary off Mitchell Marsh. He is two short of his half-century. Perhaps we can expect some fireworls once he gets there.

Another chance goes begging: This time it’s Cummins, who grasses another remarkably easy chance at long-on. Lyon is down on the ground, he can’t believe it. Pant is the batsman receiving a lifeline. He chips down to Lyon and heaves it, only for the bat to turn in his hands. Cummins did wel to cover ground but drops a catch you’d expect him to take nine out of 10 times. This is ordinary from Australia.

– Short ball and Bang. Pant pulls Mitchell Marsh to collect his second boundary. India reach 390/5. Surely, they’ve got to take off from here. The scoring rate is still under 2.5. Numerous balls are flying past the outside edge. You have a feeling something is going to happen here real soon.

– India getting a move on here. And it’s about time they did. There aren’t too many boundaries coming but Rohit and Pant are rotating the strike well. India inching towards the 400-run mark. They are 380 for 5.

GONE: Rahane out for 34, India lose their fifth wicket for 361Lyon‘s wait is finally over. After toiling for 39 overs, he gets his first wicket of the match in the 40th. It’s another one that has stayed low. Rahane, rooted to his crease, is trapped right in front of the stumps. No review. 

DROPPED: Oh dear! Peter Siddle has dropped a sitter, and denied Lyon, what could have been, his first wicket of the match. Rohit top edged a sweep straight to the short fine-leg. And Siddle, the substitute for Cummins, makes an absolute mess of it. This is plain agony. Lyon can’t believe it, nor can Paine. Rohit receives a life as he continues to add on his half-century stand with Rahane. India also cross 350. Surely, they must attack now. Even if one of them gets out, Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja are still to come.

Tim Paine is back with his verbals. He has a proposal for Rohit but the batsman seems to pass it.

– And we are back, to present to you the final session of the day. India resume at 346 for 4, and they now will surely be eyeing some quick runs. Michael Clarke reckons a total of 450 should be competitive, with the surface beginning to do strange things.

TEA Break: India head into the interval at 346 for 4, with Rahane and Rohit the two unbeaten batsmen. A much better session for Australia, who removed two set Indian batsmen in Pujara and Kohli. But Rohit and Rahane have taken over from there to ensure India did not lose another wicket in the last one hour. Stay with us, we’ll be back shortly.

– And slowly but cautiously, Rahane and Rohit are settling in. They have added 47 runs for the fourth wicket so far, taking India to 346 for 4. Rahane has been the prime scorer in this stand, unbeaten on 30 off 55 while Rohit is content taking his time (13* off 46). No hurry.

The beauty that is Test cricket

– Rahane beginning to settle down. Cuts Lyon in front of square for a boundary. India 337 for 4.

FOUR: Rohit pulls Hazlewood for his first boundary. Rahane has moved to 18 off 24 at a strike-rate of 75. Surely, India have got to step on the gas here. 324 for 4 after 133 overs.

– Nathan Lyon back into the attack. An understandable move considering the surface has started to assist spin and with two new batsmen at the crease. India 314 for 4. What will Rohit and Rahane do here? It’s the second session on second day and in order to push a result, India need to get a move on.

BOWLED HIM: India lose a second wicket in a space of six runs to be 299 for 4. What happened there? This one stayed low and Cummins has breached Pujara’s defence, cleaning up him. The batsman cannot believe it. Cummins loves it. Pujara received some treatment from the physio after being struck on the finger by a rising delivery which caused a small pause in play. Next up, BOOM. With two set batsmen gone, Australia sure sense an opening here.

GONE: India lose their third wicket for 293. Australia have finally broken through after 68 long overs. Mitchell Starc removes the dangerous Virat Kohli for 82, who played a rather strange shot to bring about his downfall. Short ball, and Kohli, trying to guide the ball behind, manages to find Aaron Finch at third-man. Was is the troubled back? Could be, because prior to his dismissal, the Indian captain played a couple of wild pull shots. Or maybe he was just bogged down by his strike rate of 40 and wanted to get a move on. None the less, that is a century missed one would reckon.

– The physio is out there. Kohli in slight trouble after pulling Starc for a single. It’s probably just a minor muscle pull, a twitch or something. He’s been out there for 198 balls, having scored 75. Normally when Kohli faces these many balls, he is past 100. Do not forget that it’s almost 33 degrees out there. India 285 for 2 and the partnership has lasted for over 300 balls here.

– We’re back. After an intriguing morning session, we get set to venture into the next two hours of play. Pat Cummins, easily Australia’s best bowler, starts off with a maiden.

LUNCH on Day 2: Alright then. Another session where India have made Australia toil in really wam conditions. They reach 277 for 2 – scoring 62 runs in 28 overs – which means they have now played out two straight wicketles sessions. The highlight of that session? No surprises, Cheteshwar Pujara, who struck his second century of the series and became the fifth Indian batsman to score a Boxing Day Test hundred for India at the MCG. Kohli too played some attractive strokes, but he did ride his luck. But overcoming a tight spell from Pat Cummins early on Day 2, Kohli has looked a lot more composed and seems set for a century of his won. Engaging session none the less. Be sure to join us in 40 minutes.

100 for Pujara: Down the ground for FOUR and that is a very special hundred for Cheteshwar Pujara. His second of the series and 17th overall in Tests. A little shimmy down the ground from Pujara and he sends the ball racing towards the long-on boundary off Lyon. Off comes the helmet as the MCG offers him a standing applause. He’s come a long way from an ordinary tour of 2014 where he scored just 201 runs from six innings.

– The three leading run-scorers in this series have been Indians. With 312 runs and counting, Che Pujara is at the top of the list, followed by Kohli (243) and Ajinkya Rahane (164).

FOUR: Wow! Dreamy stuff that from Kohli, drives Josh Hazlewood down the ground. Pujara follows suit in the next over, driving Lyon for a four of his own to move into the 90s. India 259 for 2.

– Meanwhile, for those just waking up, Trent Boult has razed Sri Lanka earlier today with a six-wicket burst. In the space of 15 deliveries, Boult destroyed Sri Lanka with a dream spell of bowling that handed New Zealand a 74-run first innings lead which had increased to 110 by the time they went to lunch. Resuming at 88 for 4, Sri Lanka were bowled out for 104.

– Drinks interval and India reach 246 for 2. 31 runs off 14 overs in the first hour of play and make no mistake, Kohli and Pujara have had to work hard for those runs. The surface is beginning to turn and Australia sense it. Lyon is beginning to lick his lips. Can he finally get his first wicket?

– Well, we’re pretty sure you would have fared well, Maxi.

– If Kohli vs Starc has been the contest to watch out in this series, Lyon vs Pujara isn’t far behind. Pujara has constantly used his feet to Lyon and he continues to do so against the offspinner here as well. With two close-in fielders, it might be the right move but it also increases the risk of a bat pad chance.

Meanwhile…

Edged… and Kohli survives again. Australia’s pacers have found the edge of Kohli’s bat quite a few times this innings but somehow it’s either not carried or been spilled. This time Kohli offers a front foot push. Australia had the trap set well. The ball took the edge the ball but much to the dismay of Tim Paine, flew between the huge gap between second and fourth slip. A third slip would have taken it nine out of 10 times. Kohli is batting outside his crease in order to negotiate the swing.

– The GOAT now has the ball. For a bowler with a strike rate of 62.3, it was a tad surprising to see Nathan Lyon go without a wicket on the opening day where he bowled 21 overs for 60 runs. Will he get something going his way today?

– Josh Hazlewood has the ball in his hand, and he bowls a nice, tidy over to Pujara, who has now moved on to 82 for his overnight score of 68. He and Kohli have so far added 118 off 267 deliveries to take India to 241 for 2.

– The second day of a Test match is usually the best for batting, and with the sun out the MCG surface is really turning into a batting paradise. If you’re an Indian fan, there can’t be a better scenario than this – two of their finest Test batsmen are set. India 236 for 2 in 95 overs. Pat Cummins is bending his back.

– In case you missed out on the important passages of play from Day 1, read our best and worst of Day 1 of the MCG Test

– Well, not often have India started a Test match in Australia as solid as they did on Day 1. Here is a recap from yesterday which saw the stunning debut of Mayank Agarwal.

FIFTY for Kohli. A fine way to begin the day for India with the captain scoring his 20th half-century in Tests. Pujara showing positive signs as he flicks Mitchell Starc for a boundary. India 227 for 2 and it’s safe to say, they are underway.

Hello and welcome everyone to CricketCountry’s Day 2 coverage of the third  Test between India and Australia at a packed MCG. After an enjoyable day for batting, overnight batsmen Cheteshwar Pujara and captain Virat Kohli will look to take their starts and convert them into big scores to give India a formidable score in the first innings.