At The Oval in London on Friday, Australia built a 296-run lead against India when Pat Cummins unleashed a savage bowling onslaught that left India broken and bruised.
India was dismissed for 296 in their first innings by Australia’s four-man pace attack, with skipper Cummins taking three of those wickets.
Marnus Labuschagne is still undefeated at 41 and will continue day four of Australia’s second innings with Cameron Green at 7.
Ajinkya Rahane earlier chose to ignore the turmoil enveloping his team members at the other end of the ground as he led India in scoring with 89, and Shardul Thakur overcame some severe blows to his arm to score 51.
The morning session began badly for the top-ranked side in the world after a poor performance on day two, when India was left clinging on at 151/5 in response to Australia’s first innings total of 469.
Thousands of spectators were still pouring into the stadium when fast bowler Scott Boland delivered a fierce delivery to knock K S Bharat’s stumps loose with the second ball of the day.
India trailed the Australians by 317 runs when Bharat exited the game for number five, and it would be extremely difficult for them to avoid adding further runs.
Three overs later, Thakur saw the full force of the fast bowlers’ power as he was struck on his right arm repeatedly by consecutive deliveries from Australia skipper Cummins, causing him to drop his bat and groan in agony.
Thakur also received rescues when he was on 8, when Green dropped him at gully, and when DRS revealed Cummins had bowled a no ball on 36.
In the 109-run stand for the seventh wicket, when Thakur was living dangerously, Rahane went about saving India’s chances with his combination of scrumptious shot selection.
Ravindra Jadeja’s bowling caused Australia’s two first-innings century-makers to be out thanks to errant shots. Travis Head was caught and bowled shortly after Yadav dropped a ball at the boundary that jumped out of his hands for a six, and Steve Smith uncharacteristically skied a catch to Thakur.