India On Trouble

Australia's top order collapsed Friday with India's dangerous bowling attack taking six wickets in the morning session to leave the home team in big trouble at the third Test in Melbourne.

In overcast conditions, they began day three with eight runs on the scoreboard after surviving six nervy overs on Thursday following India's daunting 443-7 declaration.

Cheteshwar Pujara's 106 and Virat Kohli's 82 provided the backbone to their innings on what was then a flat track as they eye a crucial 2-1 lead in the four-Test series. But with the pitch starting to show signs of wear and tear, it wasn't long before India's bowlers took advantage, leaving Australia struggling on 89-4 at lunch.

In a massive blow, Shaun Marsh was out for 19 on the last ball before the break, leaving Travis Head unbeaten on 18. Aaron Finch smashed a four off Jasprit Bumrah in a positive start but once again Australia's limited overs captain failed as a Test opener.

He was on eight when he feebly chipped an Ishant Sharma delivery to debutant Mayank Agarwal at short midwicket, who took a difficult diving catch. That brought Usman Khawaja to the crease, just hours after his brother was re-arrested for allegedly breaching bail and charged with trying to influence a witness.

Arsalan Khawaja had been detained earlier this month, then bailed, after being accused of framing a love rival as the author of a terrorist hit list. Khawaja was only at the wicket for a short time before Australia's other opener Marcus Harris also fell, plunging the home team into strife at 36 for two.

After looking in good touch on his way to 22, Harris inexplicably attempted a hook shot off a Bumrah bouncer but instead top-edged it to Sharma at fine leg. Khawaja didn't last much longer, despondently trudging off for 21 after Agarwal took another top catch close in off-spinner Ravindra Jadeja, who is starting to find the rough and cause problems.

Marsh was then deceived by some late swing from a Bumrah ball to be lbw and cap a miserable morning for the hosts.



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