05:58(IST)Straightaway on the mark. He was brilliant in the second innings of the last Test. Now, keeps it nice and tidy and even beat Khawaja once. Can Shami continue the good work?
05:55(IST)Mohammed Shami comes into the attack.
05:48(IST)Shot! Khawaja gets one to drive and carves it towards deep extra cover for his first boundary. Australia need a big partnership and both Khawaja and Shaun Marsh will have to deliver.
05:44(IST)Got him! There was a fine leg in place and Harris still went for pull shot only to end up edging it straight into the hands of Ishant. Australia are in a spot of bother. Harris had just a hit a boundary on the previous ball and there was no need for that shot. This is superb fast bowling from Ishant and Bumrah.
05:36(IST)Usman Khawaja has arrived at the crease and the onus will be on him to get a big score. Both Ishant and Bumrah are bowling well at the moment and it will be interesting to see how these two batsmen go about their business.
05:34(IST)Bumrah is once again attacking Harris with short deliveries but the left-hander does well to neglect it.
05:28(IST)Ishant draws the first blood! What a sharp catch by debutant Mayank Agarwal! This is good captaincy from Kohli who knew Finch has the habit of playing uppish flicks. The ball? It was on the pads and Finch ended up hitting it to Agarwal who had to lunge to his left to complete the catch at short mid-wicket.
05:17(IST)Now Finch gets his first boundary. It was slightly over pitched and Finch went after it to drive it through the line and gets a boundary towards deep extra cover. Ishant then comes back with an outswinger that had Finch all squared up. Not a bad start to Day 3.
05:12(IST)Harris gets some width and times it towards the third man region for four. The left-hander is looking in decent touch.
05:07(IST)Ishant starts with a no-ball and Harris works it towards fine leg for a single. He is getting a slight movement but Harris and Finch see off the over without any discomfort. Three runs from the first over.
04:59(IST)All set and we are about to get underway…
04:52(IST)The track is starting to deteriorate and invariable bounce will help Indian bowlers if they can stick to one line and length. The likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami can cause trouble to the Australian batsmen, while Ravindra Jadeja’s role is also going to be equally pivotal.
Both teams believe that the pitch has deteriorated enough to offer a result in their favour….but if it’s indeed deteriorated as much, I can’t see Australia winning from here. Only two results possible…. #AusvInd#BoxingDayTest
04:36(IST)We still have some time left, so how about you go through this piece where Nikhil Narain sheds light on the spectacular fall of Murali Vijay, KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan in 2018:
04:34(IST)Here’s what players had to say after Day 2:
Cheteshwar Pujara: “We have to bat like the way the wicket is behaving and what the situation is. On this pitch, every batsman has to play a lot of balls to score runs. If it were a different wicket maybe I would have scored 140-150 after playing so many deliveries. But in Test cricket it is important to read both situation and pitch when batting. It is a tough pitch to score on. If we look at first two days number of runs scored are very less and in a way I would say that 200 in a day is a tough task, so I think we have enough runs on the board.”
Aaron Finch: “This wicket is probably deteriorating more than we thought it would. Even tonight it was skidding through, there were a couple that took off. On such pitches, I think you’ve just got to adapt your gameplan and regardless of what the wicket is, you’ve got to be good enough to adapt and change your plans and execute on the day.”
04:30(IST)Between innings before the Australians ran out to bat, the Cricket Ground DJ, perhaps a fractious mischievously given the day that was, elected to spin the chorus of Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now: “Don’t stop me now, I’m having such a good time, I’m having a ball.” The day when the crowd can belt that out without a hint of irony, watching a play on a pitch that’s fit for the best of our game, can’t come quickly enough.
04:23(IST)On a pitch that was two-paced when the ball was new and hard, some deliveries rearing sharply from a length, others refusing to rise to expectation, and otherwise slow and rather lifeless in any way that was useful to bowlers or batsmen, Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli set out to maintain their balance, play only shots that the surface allowed without risk and wore out the Australian bowlers, and fielders.
04:19(IST)All Aussie bowlers — Mitchell Starc (28 overs), Josh Hazlewood (31.4 overs), Nathan Lyon (48 overs), Pat Cummins (34 overs) and Mitchell Marsh (26 overs) — had to work extremely hard on the unhelpful MCG track. Australian openers somehow managed to see off the nervy seven-over period.
04:19(IST)One could easily see the frustration on the face of Australian bowlers who were forced to toil hard in the Melbourne heat by Indian batsmen on the second day. Chances were dropped and so were the shoulders as India piled on Australia’s agony to take command of the encounter. After Cheteshwar Pujara (106) and Virat Kohli (82) added 170 runs for the third wicket, the likes of Rohit Sharma (63*), Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant too joined the feast as India declared their innings on 443 for 7 in 169.4 overs at the stroke of Day 2.
04:18(IST)Good morning! Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the all-important Day 3 of the third Test between Australia and India.