Starting the day at 279/5 and a lead of 84 runs, Ajinkya Rahane and Ravindra Jadeja only managed to add 15 runs to their overnight partnership of 106 before Rahane was run-out for the first time in his Test career.
Ravindra Jadeja, was probably to blame.
He looked over eager to get to his 15th Test fifty but lost his skipper in the scramble to complete the milestone. Marnus Labhuschange pulled off an inspired fielding effort at short cover to find Rahane short of his crease.
But Rahane reacted in a positive way. Instead of showing his displeasure, he walked up to Jadeja and told him to carry on – a gesture that not just revealed his Zen mindset and also broke the internet.
Rahane went for 112 off 223 balls, playing a captain’s knock.
Jadeja eventually completed his fifty but fell to a barrage of short-pitch stuff from Mitchell Starc.
Coming round the wicket with a short leg, leg slip, and even a fine leg in place, Starc constantly aimed Jadeja’s rib-cage. It took another four overs from Starc to make the plan work as Jadeja’s swat off a short delivery found Pat Cummins at deep midwicket, who completed the catch after an initial juggle.
Jadeja went for 57 off 159 balls. It was an innings of monumental significance and fully justified Rahane’s decision to go in with the Saurashtra all-rounder as Virat Kohli’s replacement instead of a regular batsman, like KL Rahul.
Umesh Yadav got himself a boundary but did not last long, edging one, off Nathan Lyon, to first skip to depart for just nine and Ashwin followed soon after getting caught at gully for 14 off Josh Hazlewood.
Jasprit Bumrah was the last man to fall for a first-ball duck to Lyon.
India folded for 326, with a lead of 131 runs. While the lead is significant enough, India would still have liked to add a few more as they lost their five wickets for just 32 runs this morning.
Starc returned with figures of 3/78, while Nathan Lyon claimed 3/72. Pat Cummins added two while Hazlewood picked one wicket.
Indian bowlers shine
It did not take long for India to make their first breakthrough when Joe Burns edged a beauty from Umesh Yadav. To compound things he used up a review as well.
Jasprit Bumrah made the biggest breakthrough, bowling Steven Smith behind his pads for 8, the ball just clipping leg stump enough to dislodge the bails to the bemusement of Smith.
R Ashwin produced a wonderful piece of bowling to remove Marnus Labuschagne as a delivery slid across him from round the wicket and was edged to slip.
Travis Head played a loose shot at Mohammed Siraj’s first ball back into the attack, edging to second slip, and then Tim Paine was given out caught behind against Ravindra Jadeja.
There was some controversy around the Australia captain’s dismissal which went to the DRS after being given not out on the field.
Matthew Wade was the last wicket, misjudging a faster delivery from Ravindra Jadeja that slid on and would have crashed into the stumps.
The visitors can wrap up the proceedings on the fourth day.
Jasprit Bumrah bowled brilliantly to end the day with 1/34 while Ravindra Jadeja got 2/25. Ravichandran Ashwin and Mohammed Siraj also got a wicket apiece.
If India level the series, it will surely be counted as one of the greatest overseas victories in the annals of Indian cricket.