It appears the pre-tour talk has finally come to fruition. Australia dominated the first five days of this test series but today the hunters became the hunted.
With India’s lead already past a difficult to manage 126, and the pitch beginning to show signs that batting on the final two days could prove difficult, Australia will need their spinners to fire and take quick wickets, otherwise they risk fighting an uphill battle in the last innings of the game.
India’s batting unit can finally puff their chests out after getting over their early tour hangover, thanks largely to the measured performances of Cheteshwar Pujara and Anjinkya Rahane, who both stand at the forefront of India’s stubborn fight back that continues to frustrate the Australians. Outside of Rahul, who notched another fifty in the second innings, the Indian batsmen have looked uncomfortable against Steve O’Keefe and Nathan Lyon, a thought that wouldn’t sit well with a number of their stalwarts. But today was a clear indication that the Indian’s will not go down on their home turf without resistance.
Tomorrow promises to be as intriguing as any of the days so far this tour. Australia were cruising to another victory at the beginning of day three but the application of India’s batsmen in the second innings is what the tourists should expect from the likes of Rahane, Kohli, Pujrara and Rahul going forward.
Don’t get me wrong. Australia have been superb so far this series. In fact, they’ve been clinical. But today was the first sign that the Indian’s posses the potential to bat Australia out of the contest. Thankfully, unlike their last tour to the sub-continent, Australia look as though they have the artillery to fight off a ruthless spin barrage, meaning 200 no longer appears so far out of reach.