India’s listless bowling attack took a massive hammering as Australian skipper Steve Smith led magnificently with a 192-run knock to guide his team to a mammoth first innings total of 530 at tea on the second day of the third cricket Test here today.
At the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Smith scored a career-best 192 runs (305 balls, 15 fours, 2 fours) as the visitors let slip the pressure built on day one and completely surrendered to the batting display.
For India, R Ashwin (3-134) was the best bowler on display, bowling with control throughout the innings. Mohammad Shami (4-138) took the most wickets, but he was also the worst bowler on display, smacked for 23 fours, 13 more than any other bowler.
Ishant Sharma (0-104) and Umesh Yadav (3-130) were unimpressive on this day with Murali Vijay (0-14) being the only other bowler used in this innings.
Post-lunch, Smith looked to get some quick runs with Ryan Harris (74 runs, 88 balls, 8 fours, 1 six). India, meanwhile, merely waited for things to happen, almost reluctant to get the batsmen out.
The latter made good use of the same and scored his third Test half-century, getting there off 75 balls. With Smith, he put on 106 runs for the 8th wicket as the visitors continued to bleed runs.
All their front-line bowlers conceded more than 100 runs, a fact cheered by much gusto by the MCG crowd. Smith meanwhile continued to motor along, getting to the 150-run mark for the second time in this series, reaching there in the 133rd over.
He stepped up the run-rate thereafter, scoring his next 42 runs off only 32 balls.
Harris was out LBW to Ashwin in the 136th over of the innings and thereafter, Smith added a quick-fire 48 runs for the ninth wicket with Nathan Lyon (11) who threw his bat around.
They were then both bowled by Shami in successive overs, 142nd and 144th, as the hapless Indian bowling and fielding effort on day two came to an end. Josh Hazlewood (0) was the unbeaten batsman.