Melbourne, Dec 27:
Captain Steven Smith smashed a brilliant 192 – his third successive century – as Australia were bowled out for a mammoth 530 in their first innings at tea on day two of the third Test against India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) here Saturday.
India’s ineptness at removing the tail once again cost them dear as pacer Ryan Harris plundered 74 off 90 balls and together with his skipper added 106 runs for the eighth wicket.
Mohammed Shami was the pick of the bowlers taking four wickets while Umesh Yadav and Ravichandran Ashwin picked up three each.
Resuming the day at 259 for five, overnight unbeaten batsmen Smith and Haddin began confidently with the keeper-batsman being more aggressive of the two. India peppered him with a lot of short balls, hoping to shake him up and exposing his perceived weakness to bouncers.
But Haddin was equal to the task and was willing to take on what was offered him, pulling and hooking merrily to score runs at a fast clip, reaching his half-century of 75 balls.
Smith on the other hand began more sedately. He took his time to get going but smoothly reached his third hundred of the series, flicking a fuller length ball fine on the leg side to reach the feat.
His hundred came off 191 balls with nine fours and a six, making him the first Australian captain to score centuries in each of his first two Tests as skipper and fourth overall after South Africa’s Jackie McGlew, India Vijay Hazare and England’s Alastair Cook.
The signs were ominous for India as their bowlers failed to learn from their mistakes and continued bowling short, making it easier for Smith and Haddin to score freely.
The duo soon put up their 100-run partnership and was looking good for more. But Haddin wss dismissed completely against the run of play when he hesitated to play or leave a Mohammed Shami delivery, succeeding only to edge it to wicket keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. It was Shami’s third wicket of the innings.
But Smith continued the run feast with Mitchell Johnson (28) to lead Australia to a formidable first innings total. (IANS)