Chris Rogers and Shaun Marsh scored half centuries as Australia built a 326-run lead over India after four days of the third test. Australia was 261-7 in its second innings at stumps Monday, and in a position to try to bowl out India on the final day and claim a 3-0 series lead.
David Warner made a quick-fire 40 to open the innings, and Rogers made 69 for his fourth-straight half-century.
India’s bowlers made regular breakthroughs but Marsh’s unbeaten 62 prevented the tourists from bowling out Australia cheaply and pushing for the victory it needs to retain hopes of squaring the four-test series.
Earlier, Chris Rogers made his fourth straight half century to help Australia to 174-4 in its second innings at tea on day four of the third test against India, for an overall lead of 239 runs.
Rogers smashed eight boundaries to bring up 69 before he was clean bowled by Ravichandran Ashwin (2-21) on Monday.
Shaun Marsh was 15 not out at the interval with Joe Burns on 8.
David Warner slogged 40 runs off 42 balls before lunch, but Australia’s bid to post a challenging second-innings total was slowed by the loss of Shane Watson (17) and Steven Smith (14) in the second session, which was delayed more than an hour by rain.
India added just two runs to its overnight score to finish with 465 in its first innings.
Australia took a 155-run lead at lunch after fast bowler Mitchell Johnson quickly polished off the Indian tail on the fourth day of the third cricket Test at the MCG here today.
Australia were 90 for one in 22 overs in their second innings at lunch. This was after India were bowled out for 465 runs in 128.5 overs in their first innings, handing the hosts a lead of 65 runs.
At the break, Chris Rogers (33*) and Shane Watson (15*) were the unbeaten batsmen.
The hosts got off to a rousing start with David Warner (40 runs, 42 balls, 6 fours) coming out to bat despite a bruised right arm to go with his already hurting left thumb.
He took first strike and smacked Umesh Yadav (0-32) for three fours in his first two overs, racing to 18 off just 12 balls. He kept attacking the Indian bowling, giving his team an early push as they look to set an imposing fourth-innings’ target for India.
While he was at the crease, they were scoring at nearly six-per-over though things settled down a little after drinks break.
The Australian 50-mark came up in the 12th over, 38 off those coming off Warner’s bat. He was finally removed by R Ashwin (1-14) in the 15th over, adjudged LBW as the delivery hit him on the backfoot.
Watson and Rogers then negotiated the six-plus overs left until the lunch break. Ishant Sharma (0-10) and Mohammad Shami (0-33) were the other bowlers deployed.
Earlier, Australia made quick work of the Indian tail as the visitors resumed at their overnight score of 462/8.
Shami (12) and Yadav (0) were at the crease, with Ishant (0*) waiting, hoping to keep the hosts in the field as long as possible. However, their attempt lasted ony 15 deliveries as Johnson (3-135) finished the job at hand without any fuss.
The fast bowler’s figures overnight had read 1/133 from 29.2 overs and this morning he finished with 3/135 from 30.5 overs.
Johnson first removed Yadav off the second ball of the day, caught behind by keeper Brad Haddin, and then needed five deliveries of the next over to get rid of Shami, caught by Steve Smith (0-11) at second slip.
This meant India had collapsed from 409/4 to 465 all out in the space of 21.1 overs.