|Third Test, Sydney Cricket Ground (day two)|
|Australia 338: Smith 131, Labuschagne 91; Jadeja 4-62|
|India 96-2: Gill 50|
|India path by 242 runs|
Australia’s Steve Smith ended his 16-month await a Test hundred on day two of a finely poised third Test in opposition to India.
Smith scored 131 from 226 balls, his first century for the reason that fourth Ashes Test in opposition to England in September 2019.
Marnus Labuschagne made 91 however, after he fell, Smith acquired little assist, the ultimate seven wickets falling for 106 because the hosts had been dismissed for 338.
India battled to 96-2 on the shut in Sydney, 242 runs behind.
Openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill placed on 70 for the opening wicket earlier than Rohit was caught and bowled for 26 by Josh Hazlewood and Gill was caught at gully off Pat Cummins for 50, his maiden Test fifty.
Both wickets got here inside six overs, and Cheteshwar Pujara and captain Ajinkya Rahane batted defensively till the shut.
Should Pujara and Rahane type a major partnership on Saturday, India might be favourites to win this Test and take a 2-1 lead within the four-match sequence.
On a very good batting pitch, Australia – resuming on 166-2 – ought to have posted a far better first-innings whole from 206-2 with Smith and Labuschagne sharing a stand of 100.
Instead, Smith may solely type small partnerships with the center and decrease order. Mitchell Starc, with 24, was the one different Australian to go 20 on the day.
Smith was final man out, brilliantly run out by Ravindra Jadeja by a direct hit from sq. leg, having introduced up his 27th Test hundred.
His celebration upon reaching the landmark instructed reduction and frustration – the 14 innings between centuries was the longest spell in his profession since going 22 innings from debut to maiden hundred in 2013.
Smith, who made two successive centuries within the one-day sequence in opposition to India however had scored 10 runs in 4 earlier innings within the Test sequence, mentioned: “I’m reading lots of things people say about out of form, but think there’s a difference between out of form and out of runs, so it was just nice to score a few and maybe keep a few people quiet.”
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