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Smith, Harris Steal Initiative, Hustle India On Backfoot

Smith, Tail Steal Initiative, Hustle India On Backfoot
Ryan Harris played a blinder with the bat as he along with Smith construed 106-run compelling partnership for the eighth wicket
©REUTERS / Action Images

Australia 530 (Smith 192) v
India 108-1 (Vijay 55 no)
Third Test, Day Two, Melbourne

It was a familiar tale for the visitors as Australia skipper Steven Smith, along with tail-end batsmen stole away the initiative on day two of the third Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

After leveling the honours on day one, India was outdone once more by its inefficiency to curtail the opposition tail batsmen.

Australia began the day's proceedings at 259 for five and concluded their innings with a whooping 530 runs on the scoreboard.

Skipper Steven Smith was once again at the helm of the proceedings as he fearlessly led his team with a fascinating hundred.

Brad Haddin (55) departed promptly after reaching his eighteenth Test career fifty. Mohammad Shami provided the first breakthrough of the day as Haddin unknowingly inside edged a delivery towards Dhoni.

Mitchell Johnson (28) was looking comfortable before getting dismissed stumped by Ravichandran Ashwin.

Just when it looked India had a chance to curtail Australians within 400-run mark, Ryan Harris played a blinder with the bat as he along with Smith construed 106-run compelling partnership for the eighth wicket.

Harris scored 74 of 88 balls with the help of 8 boundaries and a huge six off Ashwin. This now becomes his career best score in Test cricket.

Nathan Lyon (11) joined the fun as he and Smith continued to trouble the visitors by scoring runs at will. He was dismissed by Shami after failing to connect a slog.

Steven Smith (192) meanwhile kept on cruising from the other end before getting dismissed by a slower delivery from Umesh Yadav. He fell just eight runs short of a well deserving double hundred.

Mohammad Shami (4-138) was the leading wicket taker for India. Umesh Yadav (3-130) and Ravichandran Ashwin (3-134) were the other wicket takers as Ishant Sharma (0-194) remained wicket-less.

Indian openers Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan (28) started off positively chasing a mammoth first innings total.

After completing a 55-run partnership stand for the first wicket, Dhawan fell victim to Harris as he edged one straight to Smith at second slip.

Cheteshwar Pujara (25 not out) and Murali Vijay (55 not out) remained unbeaten at the end of days play as India is looking upon a colossal 422 runs trail heading into day three.

Australia would be undeniably pleased with themselves and looking forward to continue the momentum on day three by aiming to wrap-up Indian innings as early as possible.

India on the other hand would be hoping to be rescued by their inexperienced batting line-up.

With a dense cloud of a possible innings defeat hovering over their head, day three will decide the visitors fate in this Test match and the series.

© Cricket World 2014