India vs Australia: Bumrah rips through Australia, India on top despite second innings collapse

India’s lead, so far, of 346 might already be enough for it to win the third match of the India vs Australia Test series on a deteriorating MCG pitch.

Jasprit Bumrah exults after dismissing Shaun Marsh in Melbourne on Friday.   -  AP

Bamboozled by Bumrah. That’s what happened to Shaun Marsh at the stroke of lunch. He left the arena shell-shocked.

The Aussie had been brilliantly set up by Jasprit Bumrah. The three previous deliveries had been quick and shaped away from the left-hander.

Then Bumrah sent down a slow yorker from round the stumps that drifted into the left-hander. There was no change in his arm speed. But then the tricky Bumrah had rolled his fingers over the ball to take the pace off.

Marsh, anticipating speed, was early into the stroke, and, was, to his horror, trapped right in front. It was arguably the ball of the series so far. 

READ: AS IT HAPPENED

Bumrah was on fire on the third day of third Test at the MCG here on Friday. He was both explosive and crafty, employed the yorkers and reverse swing to deadly effect.

The Gujarat paceman’s career-best six for 33 blew away the Aussies for 151 in its first innings; the host conceded a massive lead of 292.

India chose not to enforce the follow on and the lion-hearted Pat Cummins, who has employed cross seam exceptionally well in the match, struck big for Australia to leave India tottering at 54 for five.

He removed Hanuma Vihari with a well-directed short ball, had big guns Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli [both for naught] snaffled up at an intelligently positioned leg-gully, and got an unlucky Ajinkya Rahane taken down the leg-side by the ‘keeper.

Rohit Sharma survived a hat-trick - Cummins had incredible figures of four for two at that point - but succumbed to Josh Hazlewood in the corridor.

READ: Jasprit Bumrah sizzles in debut year

A battling Mayank Agarwal (28 batting) and Rishabh Pant (six batting) were together at stumps. As many as 15 wickets fell on a dramatic day.

Pat Cummins at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday.   -  AP

 

India’s lead, so far, of 346 might already be enough for it to win the match on a deteriorating pitch.    

The influential Bumrah inflicted enormous damage on the Aussie line-up with his air-speed and the lack of it, was not dependent on the pitch which nevertheless sported developing roughs and assisted left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja.  

What makes Bumrah so hard to read? Firstly, he has a whippy, quick-arm action that is difficult to pick.

Then, Bumrah is a freakish bowler whose load up is so much away from his body yet his bowling arm is stretched fully and is straight at the point of release. It’s a unique combination.

He releases the ball from a high-arm action but changes his wrist position. Everything happens so fast and the batsman’s struggles to find an appropriate response; particularly when the switches in speed are between 110 kmph and the high 140s.   

Bumrah struck early dismissing left-handed opener Marcus Harris. Hooking Bumrah’s awkwardly climbing bouncers is fraught with risks.

The bustling Bumrah nailed the left-handed Travis Head with a big inswinger delivered wide from round the wicket and took out Tim Paine with a delivery that left the right-hander; ‘keeper Pant held a smart, low catch.  

The lanky paceman then brushed aside the tail - something this Indian attack has not always managed to accomplish - with a combination of inswingers and yorkers.

India's Ravindra Jadeja appeals an LBW chance during play on day three of the third cricket test between India and Australia in Melbourne.   -  ap

 

There were foot-marks too for Jadeja to exploit on a surface that was dusty. He turned one back into the left-handed Usman Khawaja from over-the-wicket and the batsman, pushing forward hesitantly, was picked up at short-leg.

And then Mitchell Marsh, rather unwisely, stepped out to a Jadeja delivery that drifted in, missed a whip and was held at slip.

Ishant Sharma had snared Aaron Finch - a short mid-wicket is always in play on a dual-paced surface of this nature for the uppish shot - to open the sluice gates. Later, Mohammad Shami castled Cummins with a terrific delivery that reversed the other way.

The Indian bowlers will be a distinct threat to the Australian batsmen during the chase on this demanding pitch.