It's Smith once again
Steve Smith put Australia in command of the third Test with a memorable innings to leave India with a massive task to stay alive in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series in Melbourne on Saturday.
Smith blasted an imperious 192 off 305 balls with 15 fours and two sixes to spearhead Australia to a formidable 530 and then took a diving catch to have the tourists at 108 for one at the close on the second day and trailing by 422 runs.
India's first task was to avoid the follow-on target of 331 while the Australians, leading the four-match series 2-0, will be pressing for victory over the final three days.
Murali Vijay passed fifty for the fourth time in the series and was unbeaten on 55 with Cheteshwar Pujara not out 25 after Smith swooped to take a catch low off the ground at second slip to dismiss Shikhar Dhawan for 28 off Ryan Harris.
It could have been better for Australia but wicketkeeper Brad Haddin dropped Pujara on 12 off the bowling of Josh Hazlewood.
Smith dominated day two with his highest Test score and was the last wicket to fall when he went after a big shot with fielders on the boundary in pursuit of a double century.
It was his third century of the series, his fifth for the year and was replete with all his quirky shotmaking to leave India skipper MS Dhoni at a loss as to how to contain him.
"I feel pretty good at the crease. Everything is working for me at the moment which is nice and the most pleasing thing is that we've got 530 runs on the board and that's a very good first innings total for us," Smith said.
SCORES IN BRIEF
AUSTRALIA: First innings 530 (Smith 192, Harris 74, Rogers 57, Haddin 55, Watson 52; Shami 4-138, Yadav 3-130, Ashwin 3-134)
INDIA: First innings 108 for 1 (Vijay 55 not out, Dhawan 28, Pujara 25 not out; Harris 1-19)