MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Australia’s openers survived the final nervous overs of a scorching hot afternoon as the home side reached eight without loss at the end of day two in the third test against India on Thursday after the visitors had dominated with the bat.
Marcus Harris was five not out, with Aaron Finch on three as Australia started their response to India’s 443 for seven declared total, the home bowlers made to toil until half an hour before stumps on a grudging Melbourne Cricket Ground wicket.
In a brief and fiery spell, paceman Jasprit Bumrah struck Harris on the helmet with a short ball but the rookie opener rose to his feet quickly and resumed after lengthy attention by medical staff.
With the four-test series poised at 1-1, much will depend on how the MCG’s maligned drop-in wicket performs for an Australian batting order still finding their feet.
But the home side’s hopes of taking a lead into the final test in Sydney would seem slender.
Although failing to grab a wicket, India’s bowlers will head into day three hopeful of an early breakthrough after beating the bats of Harris and Finch with a slew of deliveries.
Having gone to stumps at 215-2 on day one, India’s batsmen enjoyed another dominant day, with Cheteshwar Pujara scoring his second century of the series and skipper Virat Kohli adding 82 to build a hefty total.