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3rd Test, Day 2: India trail Australia by 75 runs at lunch after Umesh, Ashwin heroics

Indore, March 2 (IANS) Openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill took India to 13/0 at lunch and now trail Australia by 75 runs on day two of third Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy after Umesh Yadav and Ravichandran Ashwin picked three wickets each to lead a frantic fightback and bowl out visitors for 197 in their first innings at the Holkar Stadium, here on Thursday.

The first hour of the morning session belonged to Australia as India were unable to make breakthroughs in 16 overs. But after the drinks break, things turned dramatically in the second hour as Umesh and Ashwin took 3/12 and 3/44 respectively.

While Umesh was efficient with his exhibition of reverse swing and reached 100 Test wickets at home, Ashwin was able to extract turn, and use it with flight to trigger an Australian batting meltdown, as they lost their last six wickets for just 11 runs in 28 balls. Though, visitors took a healthy lead of 88 runs.

Resuming from 156/4, it looked like the pitch was a little less spiteful than it was on day one. Ravindra Jadeja found some turn, but it wasn’t much to threaten Peter Handscomb and Cameron Green.

Green got the first boundary of the day by driving past mid-off against Mohammed Siraj, and then danced down the pitch with a straight bat to take another four off Jadeja. Handscomb was compact in defence, but when trying to defend off Ravichandran Ashwin, the ball spun in sharply and took the inner edge to forward short leg.

Green was next to depart, trapped lbw by Umesh Yadav right in front of the stumps. Coming from around the wicket, Umesh produced a gem to beat the outside edge of Mitchell Starc and send his off-stump on a cartwheel ride.

Ashwin struck again when he had Alex Carey playing down the wrong line and was firmly beaten on the inside edge, trapping him lbw. After Umesh sent Todd Murphy’s off-stump on a walk, Ashwin finished off the innings as Nathan wanted to sweep, but missed the ball and saw his stumps in disarray to complete an Australian batting meltdown.

Brief Scores: Australia 197 in 76.3 overs (Usman Khawaja 60, Marnus Labuschagne 21; Ravindra Jadeja 4/78, Umesh Yadav 3/12) lead India 109 in 33.3 overs and 13/0 in four overs by 75 runs



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