Cricket Score India vs Australia, 3rd Test at Melbourne, Day 1: Australia 259/5 at stumps
India trail Australia 2-0, and must win the remaining two Tests to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. India have been in a winning position in both Adelaide and Brisbane, but they failed to cash in on their chances. Ishant Sharma and Murali Vijay have been India’s main performers, though Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane have batted well also.
For Australia, Steven Smith and David Warner have been the standout performers, while Josh Hazlewood had a superb debut at Brisbane. But in the end, the Gabba Test was decided by that man, Mitchell Johnson. First, he turned the match with the bat, hitting an excellent 88, and then he blew away India’s middle order, taking the wickets of Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, and Rohit Sharma very early.
69,993 in attendance at the MCG on Boxing Day. Who said, Test cricket has lost its audience?
85.6 overs: Umesh Yadav gets through a maiden over and with at least four overs remaining for the day India look for wickets.
82.5 overs: Four. Haddin stays back in his crease and cuts Ishant to the sweeper boundary.
India take second new ball and Ishant gets ready to bowl. India have to get aggressive.
81.6 overs: Maiden over from Ashwin, new ball not yet taken by India.
79.6 overs: Six. Ashwin tosses it up giving more flight and Haddin steps out to loft it straight down the ground. Great hit.
Minimum of 11 overs left for the day and India should aim to keep Australia below 280 at the end of day’s play.
Mohammad Shami goes off the field, looked like he pulled his hamstring. Meanwhile Australia have reached 229 for 5 with Smith on 61.
76. 1 overs: Looking like spin from both the ends as Vijay gets the ball to bowl his offspinners.
Ashwin starts the proceedings after the drinks break. Brad Haddin, who is out of form is peppered by the Indian pacers with short stuff. Can India bowl Australia out at the end of day’s play? We will get there soon…
70.5 overs: Out. When debutant looked like settling down well at the crease, went after Umesh Yadav to get an edge to Dhoni behind the wickets. Australia 214 for 5.
70.3 overs: Fifty for Steve Smith, his fourth in the series. He is in some kind of serious form.
68.2 overs: Four. Ishant drifts on to the pads and Smith flicks to the midwicket.
67.6 overs: Joe Burns looks like to have shaken off the first Test nerves and looks calm and composed at the crease.
60.6 overs: Out. Mohammad Shami strikes again after a break and this time gets Shaun Marsh caught behind for 32. Australia 182 for 4.
Tea: Shaun Marsh (32*) and Steve Smith (23*) put up a solid stand to help Australia from the twin blows. Australia were 174 for 3 at tea on Day 1. Nothing lost for India and need to pick up wickets not allowing any partnership to flourish.
56.3 overs: Four. Smith shuffles in the crease and tucks Shami to fine leg to bring up the 50-run stand between him and Shaun Marsh. Australia have recovered well after the twin strikes.
51.6 overs: Smith pushes Ashwin’s last ball to sweeper cover and the big MCG boundaries allow both batsmen complete four runs. Australia slowly breaking India’s stranglehold. Australia 150 for 3 (Shaun Marsh 22*, Steve Smith 12*).
50.1 overs: Four. All timing on that shot from Shaun Marsh, staying on the backfoot punches Umesh Yadav straight down the ground. Smith and Marsh settling down well after the twin blows.
47.3 overs: Four. Shaun Marsh decides to go after Ashwin by going down the track and successfully does so by playing straight down the ground.
46.1 overs: Four. Half-volley first up from Ishant Sharma and Shaun Marsh drives it well through the covers.
45.6 overs: Ashwin has been brilliant throughout so far by keeping things tight at one end. Moreover, tossing up the ball.
Dhoni throws the ball to Ishant Sharma after the lunch session. Steve Smith and Shaun Marsh at the crease with Australia on 122 for 3.
Mohammad Shami settling down well to a good rhythm, more importantly hitting the right length. India now have the chance to bounce back.
37.2 overs: Out. India are back in the game by getting two quick wickets and now Ashwin strikes by getting Watson LBW for 52.
36.2 overs: Out. Mohammad Shami gets the ball to swing away a bit as Rogers goes after it to get an edge to the wicketkeeper. Australia 115 for 2.
32.6 overs: Fifty for Shane Watson. This was his first half-century after the last Boxing Day. Australia 113 for 1.
30.3 overs: Chris Rogers plays to the cover and sneaks in a quick single to bring up his third fifty in a row and eighth overall. Australia 102 for 1.
Lunch: India had a early success by getting the wicket of in-form David Warner for 0, but after that Chris Rogers (46*) Shane Watson (41*) kept the bowlers at bay. Australia were 92 for 1 at lunch on day one.
1.6 overs: Out. Umesh Yadav strikes for India early in the second over by getting the big wicket of David Warner for 0 caught in the slips by Shikhar Dhawan.
Toss and team news: Australia won the toss and opted to bat. For Australia, Joe Burns makes debut and Ryan Harris replacing Mitchell Starc, while KL Rahul gets to play his first Test replacing Varun Aaron and Mohammad Shami coming in place of Rohit Sharma.
Stung by two successive defeats and hit by a dressing room unrest, India go into the must-win third Test against Australia seeking to salvage a tour which seems to be falling apart both on and off the field.
With a 2-0 lead in hand, Australia need merely a draw to regain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy while India have to win both the remaining two Tests to hold on to the trophy. The trophy aside, India would be looking to avoid yet another overseas Test-series loss, a situation which is familiar territory for Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men.
The hosts won by 48 runs in Adelaide and by four wickets in Brisbane and can win back the Border-Gavaskar Trophy here at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.