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Preamble

The Sydney Test, day three, match three, and it’s still all to play for. The Australians got themselves out on day two for a moderate kind of score of 338, but it’s going to take a lot of hard work if the Indians are to match it. They scored 96 runs in 45 overs, barely 2 per over, against some extremely good bowling. Nathan Lyon looked dangerous throughout, Pat Cummins did too, and the pitch looks pretty difficult to score on. A few bits of misbehaviour, with some balls leaping or creeping, but mostly just slow and hard to time shots. So, 338 for India is a long way away.

Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane make up the pair to resume, the two most reliable and senior players for India. They’ll need to do a lot of the spadework.

Australia will be feeling very cheered up by Steve Smith’s return to the runs after his century on day two. India will be cheerful after another influential performance from Ravindra Jadeja, who was sensational with four wickets and the final thrill of a ridiculous run out to end Smith’s day and Australia’s innings.

The deficit is 242, eight wickets in hand, and the forecast chance of rain has dropped to 20%. Here’s hoping. Shall we?




SCG

The third Test is finally poised at the start of day three at the SCG. Photograph: Dean Lewins/EPA

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