India will enter the fourth day of the third Test in Melbourne with a massive 346-run lead. However, Virat Kohli and Co will need to stretch that advantage to 400 runs. By doing that they will silence the Australian bowling attack, which has been inspired by Pat Cummins' four-wicket burst.
Melbourne: The hard-working fast bowler Pat Cummins injected life into the Australian team with a four-wicket burst in the final session of the third day’s play in the third Test against India here at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
Cummins dismissed in-form batsmen Cheteshwar Pujara and captain Virat Kohli for ducks. He also sent back opener Hanuma Vihari (13) and Ajinkya Rahane (1). India were reduced to 54/5 at stumps but still held a mammoth lead of 346.
Here is how India should approach Day 4 on Saturday.
Ward off Cummins threat
India are in control of the Test but overnight batsmen Mayank Agarwal and Rishabh Pant should not allow the hosts’ bowlers to dominate further. Cummins threat will once again loom large but Agarwal and Pant are capable enough to thwart him and the rest of the bowling attack. Many feel 346 is already a big score but Kohli and his men should first cross the 400-run mark and that will make them feel safe. Also, it is important to not boost Australian morale after they were bundled out for 151 in the first innings. Another fine day of bowling on the fourth day will help them for the fourth and final Test in Sydney.
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Make a big statement
Jasprit Bumrah was the bowling star on the third day with a career-best 6/33. He and his colleagues are right now in a favourable position to hand India a 2-1 lead in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. However, to make a big statement, the team would try to win by a massive margin. The first innings lead of 292 runs itself was a strong message to the opposition. Now, it is time to make it even bigger with a huge margin of success.
Chance of rain in Melbourne
India should also bear in mind that there is prediction for rain on Saturday and Sunday. With still two days to go in the Test, India have plenty of time to bowl out the hosts but the unpredictability of the weather should not come in their way.
Last Updated Dec 28, 2018, 5:49 PM IST