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27-Dec-2018 07:51:00 GMT
Aus v Ind - 3rd Test, MCG, day 2

Advantage with India after declared at 443 for seven

Australia 8 for no loss (Harris 5*, Finch 3*) trail India 7 for 443 dec (Pujara 106, Kohli 82, Agarwal 76, Rohit 63*, Cummins 3-72) by 435 runs

Melbourne: India declared at 443 for seven in the third Test against Australia Thursday, built on the back of a century by Cheteshwar Pujara and 82 from captain Virat Kohli.

India crossed the 400-run mark for the first time this year in away Tests, Rohit Sharma got his 10th Test fifty.

A lot of unusual things tend to happen when a team bats through nearly six sessions and that was the case on Day 2 of the third Test between India and Australia in Melbourne.

India declared on 443/7, their highest total in Test matches away from home this year, and in reply, Australia close second day at 8 for without loss. Finch not out on three while Harris on five.

Rohit and Rishabh Pant were given lifelines when the tired Australian fielders dropped absolute sitters, though it is to be noted that the former was dropped by a substitute fielder.

Dogged Pujara stroked 106 before he and Kohli fell soon after lunch in a major breakthrough for the home team on what until then had been a lifeless Melbourne pitch offering little for the bowlers.

Rohit Sharma was not out 63 when the declaration was called with seven overs left in the day for Australia's batsmen to survive.

Pat Cummins took 3-72 and Mitchell Starc 2-87.

Pujara and Kohli had built an intimidating 170-run partnership after openers Hanuma Vihari and Mayank Agarwal fell on day one, and looked set to take the match out of Australia's reach.

But Kohli, who had earlier seen the physio after appearing to hurt his back, was finally undone by pace spearhead Mitchell Starc.

The Indian run-machine had hit a four and was attempting another the next ball when he upper cut it to third man Aaron Finch who took an easy catch to dismiss him for a patient 82 off 204 balls.

A stoic Pujara had been unflappable in his 319-ball innings until Pat Cummins sent down a rocket that stayed low, breaching his defence and clattering into the stumps.

He had been smashed on the hand not long before and needed attention.

Pujara, who has scored more runs and faced more balls than any other batsman in the series, added only three to his lunch score of 103, but it was another tremendous knock by a man who has now scored 17 Test tons and two in this series.

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