Virat Kohli © Getty Images
Virat Kohli © Getty Images

By Nishad Pai Vaidya

Dec 28, 2014

Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane took India into lunch at 224 for three on Day Three of the third Test against Australia in Melbourne. India are up against Australia’s first innings 530 and have batted well so far on a good surface at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Kohli has moved past his fifty and has looked good in the middle.

The day began on a disastrous note for India. Cheteshwar Pujara poked at the second ball of the day; Brad Haddin threw himself to his right and took an excellent catch mid-air. Out came Virat Kohli and he played some delightful strokes. He was driving well and played some crunchy shots to get going. Even as he was on his way, Vijay played in his typical circumspect way.

Mitchell Johnson breathed a bit of fire as he had Vijay almost gloving one to the slips. The next ball hit Vijay on the helmet as he tried to take his eye off the ball. This time however, Johnson only stared and walked back. Nathan Lyon was perhaps the only one who came towards Vijay and enquired about him. Interestingly, Vijay was batting on 63. He added only 13 runs to his overnight score and was caught at first slip off the bowling of Shane Watson.

Rahane walked out and got off and running easily. He was lucky early on when he edged Lyon through the wicketkeeper and first slip. However, he was speeding at a T20 rate, knocking the ball around the ground. The fast outfield and the timings helped the Indians capitalize. Kohli got to his fifty as lunch approached and Rahane had moved into the 40s.

Though India lost two wickets in this session, they managed to score over 100 runs and that would make it their session. Both Kohli and Rahane have looked at ease while playing their shots. They would keep in mind what Ravichandran Ashwin said at the press conference at the end of Day Two, that India would target 650.

Brief scores:

Australia 530 (Chris Rogers 57, Shane Watson 52, Steven Smith 192, Ryan Harris 74, Brad Haddin 55; Umesh Yadav 3 for 130, Mohammed Shami 4 for 138, Ravichandran Ashwin 3 for 134) lead India 224 for 3 (Murali Vijay 68, Virat Kohli 60*, Ajinkya Rahane 43*; Ryan Harris 2 for 40, Shane Watson 1 for 25) by 306 runs.

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(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_45)