Melbourne: With the temperature climbing into the mid-30s and the Indian batsmen on a mission to grind the Australian attack into submission, the hosts shot themselves in the foot - twice, on successive deliveries at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

First, after tea on day two of the Boxing Day Test against India, substitute fielder Peter Siddle dropped an easy catch from Rohit Sharma.

And, the second mishap took place when Travis Head was wrong-footed at short-leg and missed the chance he received as Ajinkya Rahane inside-edged Nathan Lyon's next delivery.

Another chance was also blown off Lyon's bowling when Pat Cummins dropped Rishabh Pant in the deep to add to the double-miss which was a twisting of the dagger for the home side.

Briefly in the 147th over for Cummins, who needed treatment on a foot, Siddle was on the field.

Sharma top-edged a sweep off Lyon and Siddle, and in his excitement, he ran too far one way before dropping a sitter, to which Siddle's former Test captain Ricky Ponting said on Channel Seven, "He's made an absolute meal of that. There's no worse feeling in the game than dropping a catch. We all have. We all know exactly how Peter Siddle feels right now."

Sharma was on 15 and Rahane on 32 when they had their lives back but tables turned when a delivery from Lyon kept low in his next over and Rahane was trapped lbw for 34.

But once again, when it was Cummins’ turn 12 overs later, he too dropped a very catchable chance at long on - and Lyon was the unfortunate bowler again.

At stumps on Thursday, Australia were 8/0 after captain Virat Kohli declared India’s innings at 443/7.