The third test between India and Australia being played at Mohali in Chandigarh started a day late as the first day’s play was marred by rain. Michael Clarke had won the toss and decided to bat first. Australian batsmen were looking to get some glory by putting up some decent and competitive first innings total. They looked like being on the field fully prepared especially against the spinners. The openers performed really well and gave a solid start to the team as Indian bowlers looked a sorry figure. However, after the lunch, the bowlers were able to arrest the momentum and the remaining batsmen could post a total of only 273 runs for the loss of 7 wickets at the end of second day on a batting surface.
Fresh after the case of suspension of four players from the third test, Warner and Cowan started the innings with a mindset to score big total in the first innings as the pitch also seemed less cruel compared to the ones in the first two tests. Both openers showed no signs of nerves and scored regular boundaries. Indian bowlers and skipper looked frustrated as they looked for a wicket. The Australian total at the lunch time was 139, making it the highest opening partnership in tests in India for Australia. Cowan was at 86 runs while Warner’s score was 71. The scores were highest for both the openers in the overseas tests. It was Jadeja who got the much needed breakthrough and broke the partnership as he bowled around wicket to get out Warner.
There was a change in Australian strategy after the first wicket fell as Clarke moved up the order and came at the crease at number 3. However, for the first time since he was made skipper, Clarke was unable to read the length and was out after being stumped by Dhoni on Jadeja’s delivery without scoring a run. Later, Phil Hughes poor run off form continued as he departed scoring only 2 runs on a delivery by Ojha. Then there was a brief partnership of 47 runs between Cowan and Smith. Smith showed great batting skills and temperament of a test player as he scored unbeaten 58 runs. The partnership was broken as Cowan was unable to convert his innings to a century as he was out on 86 runs by Ashwin in the evening session. Siddle was lbw by Jadeja for naught. The score board is as follows:
Australia 273 for 7 (Cowan 86, Warner 71, Smith 58*, Jadeja 3-56) v India