In the last 100 years, Australia has lost everytime they were asked to chase anything over 200 at the Adelaide Oval. At tea on day three, the game was inclined towards India. With a lead of 101 in their pocket and the best batters- Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara at the crease; the dream was on. The visitors earned the brownie as openers Murali Vijay and KL Rahul put on a 63-run stand for the first wicket. It is the best this duo has ever produced on foreign soil.
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Openers provide a solid start for the visitors
Vijay was caught fishing out to Mitchell Starc while KL Rahul once again played a loose shot to bring curtains down on his knock. Cheteshwar Pujara made good use of the review when Nigel Llong raised his finger and then had to change his decision. The dependable batter took his time to get settled in.
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Nathan Lyon was once again the workhorse for the hosts as he kept on looking to get the purchase from the rough marks. Lyon bowled beautifully, adding the flight to his deliveries and changing the pace on occasion. India to their credit did pretty well to tackle Lyon.
Plan against Lyon
Kohli used the depth of the crease and also stretched in front to nib singles. Pujara had to shuffle in time to avoid the footmarks. The duo frustrated Lyon as they kept on building on the stand. There were hardly any chatters involving Kohli. Once the skipper was settled, he went for his shots. Lyon finally got his man with one that spun quite fair. Kohli was dismissed for 34.
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He consumed 104 balls and hit just three boundaries. Pujara though stayed firm and reassured the stability that he brings to the team. Meanwhile, the rain stayed away in the second half of the game. The day ended with Pujara steering one to the gully for no runs. More importantly, he stayed unbeaten along with Ajinkya Rahane as India now enjoys a lead of 166 with seven wickets in hand.
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The first session of day four will be crucial as the hosts will look to derail the scoring. The visitors have a good opportunity in hands to extend this lead well past 200 and then take the game from there on. Starc, Hazlewood and Lyon picked one wicket each as the Indian batters put miles on the shoes of the bowlers.
India: 250 & 151/3 (KL Rahul 44; Starc 1/18)
Australia: 235 ( Head 72; Bumrah 3/48)