India vs Australia 3rd Test Melbourne Match Report: Putting aside all the speculations of an Australian comeback, Virat Kohli and Co. put up an all-round show to beat the hosts by a convincing margin of 137 runs in the third Test at the historic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Saturday. With this win, India has taken to take an unassailable 2-1 lead in the four-match Test rubber. If it was debutant Mayank Agarwal laid the foundation with a gritty knock in his maiden international outing, the experienced pair of Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli ensured that the Indian team don’t lose the momentum on day 1 with a 170-run stand for the third wicket. The mammoth stand helped the visitors to post a big total of 443/7 before fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah single-handedly decimated the Australian batting unit with a hostile spell of fast bowling to bundle out the hosts for 151 in first innings.
Bumrah picked up career-best figures of six for 33 to become the first Asian bowler to pick up a fifer in Australia, South Africa, and England. The hero the f first Test in Adelaide – Pujara once again showed great class and temperament to slam his 17th century which eventually proved out to be the difference between the two sides. The Australians may have felt the toss did the trick as the first two days were the best for batting and once the pitch started playing a trick or two they had to counter it. But even the Australians will agree that the Indian pacers were better than them. It was an all-around effort by the bowlers and not just Bumrah. Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, and Ishant Sharma all played their roles to perfection.
None of the Australian batsmen looked comfortable against the Indian pacers, who peppered them with the short-pitch stuff and the pace they generated made it difficult for the hosts to cope with. None of the Australian batsmen apart from Pat Cummins got a score in excess of 50, which hurt them badly and they could not stitch together partnerships which did not do them any good.
Jadeja acted as the perfect replacement for premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, deceiving the batsmen with his variations in line and length. The spinner provided some valuable support to the Indian pace attack, leaving the batsmen baffled with his astute accuracy and decision making, he also picked up three wickets in the second innings to add to his two wickets from the first innings. The hosts will be looking to make amends for their poor performance in Melbourne with a stunning comeback in Sydney which has witnessed several emphatic wins for the home side over the years.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli, on the other hand, will be looking to build on the momentum and will leave no stone unturned to make it 3-1 at the SCG. The fourth and final Test starts on January 3, 2019.