End of day 3 : India 469 all out & 100/0
Australia 268 all out (Watson 78, Mishra 5/71)
India lead by 301
India is now firmly in the driver seat and have put themselves in a position to win the test match. However the pitch is still flat and that means Australia can still bat well and draw the match. This means that the onus in on the Indian skipper to make sure that the declaration comes soon enough. I for one would assume that 140-150 overs atleast will be required to bowl out Australia. However a lot will depend on the start of the third day if the Indian batsmen can get 150 odd in the first 30 overs of the day they could well set a target of 450 in 150 overs that even gives the Aussies a chance to go for it and which may help us more than them that they try to score runs and give more opportunities to us.
The day started with Watson and the ever reliable Hussey. The latter kept on turning the strike over and got to 50. Ishant was troubling him with his line outside the off, Ishant got him to edge twice in the same over the second one carrying to Dhoni. The fact that there are so many praises for the Indian bowling is the fact that on this flat pitch Hussey was dropped once by the keeper. Once he edged and it went between keeper and 1st slip and one that didn’t carry to the keeper. That after so many lucky breaks, a batsman as good as Hussey got to only 50 does say a lot about the bowling. The pressure is not let up at any stage by the Indian bowlers.
Amit Mishra had another good day and he is making his debut memorable by taking 5. A great wrong one did Cameron White in, Watson was leg before and the number 11 was stumped giving the debutant 5 wickets. Bhajji bowled well with heart and flight for a change and kept the pressure on.
The fact that Hayden and Ponting are getting out quickly, means that the Aussies are also not able to put any pressure on Indian bowlers. The opposition can bowl as well as you allow them to. In the earlier days the Aussies would come and put the pressure on the bowling. Hayden is very crucial in this, but Zaheer knocking him out in the first over means we can put real pressure on the Aussies and squeeze them. The bowlers do deserve credit for the fact that there is very little loose stuff on offer.
The start of India’s second innings was unbelievable with only one slip and a deep point. Attacking captain Ricky Ponting decided to put up a placard to Sehwag that we will not get you out, we will stop you from scoring quickly. But the only way to stop Sehwag is to get him into the pavilion as he will make a mockery of the opposition field placings. India raced away to 100 off 23 overs and now its upto the Indians to drive home this test match. If Australia are allowed to get out of this, it would mean Indians played badly. So far India haven’t played badly in the series so lets see what happens on day 4.