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Monday, December 29, 2014

India bowling improves, yet not enough to prevent Australia building 326 lead: T3D4.

Australia 530 & 7/261 (75ov, Rogers 69/123b/8x4, S Marsh 62*/131b/1x6 8x4, Warner 40/42b/6x4, I Sharma 2/49, Ashwin 2/56, Yadav 2/73) lead India 465(128.5ov, Kohli 169, Rahane 147, Vijay 68, Harris4/70, Johnson 3/133, Lyon 2/108) by 326 runs with three 2nd inns wkts in hand; T3/4 D4/5 at MCG.

After Mitchell Johnson improved his analysis (from 1/133 to 3/133) by snaffling India's last two wickets, Australia batted circumspectly against an attack which bowled consistently enough to, over a rain affected day, prevent a batting breakout which would have, barring miracles ( eg another Kohli-Rahane style partnership) blocked India's while enhancing Australia's chance of victory.

Chris Rogers secured his place, insofar as it's possible for anyone of his age to do so, with another 50 while Sean Marsh looked more like the century maker we know than the low scorer we have become too familiar with of late. Australia's hopes of quick runs as a prelude to a declaration will rest on him continuing to augment the team total tomorrow.

Tomorrow's play will be extended to compensate for today's rain, so a result other than a draw is not out of the question. Australia have the upper hand and at 2-0 up in the series need not, despite 
their  praiseworthy desire to go all out for victory, set a generous target in the hope that India will, as they did at Adelaide, perish in the chase. Could be an interesting finish.

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