MS Dhoni’s inspirational double-century and his hundred-run stands with Virat Kohli and Bhuvneshwar Kumar helped India take control of the Chennai Test against Australia. We’ll have live coverage of day four from 3.00pm AEDT.
Strategies will need to change for Australia next game but their immediate concern will be to come back into this Test match after losing the initiative.
Sachin Tendulkar’s early dismissal would have raised the Australian hopes but Virat Kohli raced to his own century and Dhoni produced a counter-attacking innings against the second new ball to take the advantage.
Difficult pitch or not, India got themselves a score of more than 500 and ensured that Australia will need to do all the catching up over the next couple of days.
With a lead of 135 under their belt India will consider themselves favourites on a fast deteriorating Chennai pitch. R Ashwin will look to build on his seven-wicket haul from the first innings and could do a lot of bowling from the word go.
What Dhoni will hope is for Harbhajan Singh to find some of his rhythm that had made him the world-beater in the early 2000s with Ravindra Jadeja looking to stifle the run flow.
Australia will first need to bowl India out quickly. Dhoni hasn’t given them too many chances but what will worry captain Michael Clarke is that even number 10 batsman Bhuvneshwar Kumar came nowhere close to getting out after an early dropped opportunity.
The last thing Clarke will want is for India to bat up to the lunch break, in effect batting them out of the game.
Later when Australia get their chance to bat again, it will definitely be a test by spin. Given how the track has behaved for Nathan Lyon over the third day, likes of Ashwin and Harbhajan will be licking their fingers.
It will be interesting to see if the Australian top-order gained anything out of watching how the Indians batted against Lyon and even some of the pace bowlers – they were not allowed to settle down and attacked hard.
India hold all the aces with an Australian fightback a real possibility. For that though, they will have to play out of their skins from here on.
Live coverage of the game begins from 3.00pm AEDT on Monday, don’t hesitate add your opinion in the comments section below.