INDIA: Nathan Lyon’s brilliant bowling display took Australia within the grasp of a famous win over India on the second day of the third Test match at Indore.
India vs Australia
Australian spinner Lyon picked up eight wickets, his second-best Test figures, as India was bowled out for just 163, setting Australia a target of 76 to win the match.
Cheteshwar Pujara played a crucial role for IND with his valiant inning on a spinning pitch, scoring 59 and dragging the team along despite losing partners at regular intervals at the other end.
However, a moment of brilliance from Australia’s stand-in captain Steve Smith ended Pujara’s defiance. Smith marshalled his resources expertly, making changes to his bowling attack to keep the batters from getting on top.
His tactics paid off when an aggressive Shreyas Iyer, who had counterattacked with a 27-ball 26 against the spinners, fell as soon as Mitchell Starc came into the attack.
Iyer’s wicket stemmed any momentum that India had a little into the third session before the lower order capitulated on a raging turner, with the innings ending eerily similar to how it started with Mohammad Siraj swinging wildly against Lyon, only to be castled by the willy spinner.
Earlier in the day, Australia collapsed spectacularly, losing their last six wickets for 11 runs. The visitors finished with a potentially crucial lead of 88 runs over the hosts.
Starting the day with a lead of 47, Cameron Green and Peter Handscomb helped Australia see through the first hour of play without much problem.
However, things took a drastic turn after R Ashwin and Umesh Yadav started operating in tandem in the second hour, causing Australia to lose six wickets in less than half an hour.
Despite the collapse, Lyon and Co. ensured that there was no let-up, and they ultimately put Australia on course for a famous win against India on a devilish pitch.
However, with the pitch playing tricks and India’s seasoned spin troika eyeing the dusty patches, Australian batters will have to play cautious cricket to seal the win.
Also Read: Australia Dominates India on the 1st Day of the 3rd Test Match at Indore