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28 December, 2020

MCG Test Now A Matter Of 'Patience Is Bitter, Result Is Sweet' For India

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Team India are on the cusp of a series levelling Test victory. 
Indian team celebrates a wicket. 
Pic courtesy: BCCI.TV & Getty Images

Australia and their fans are hoping India become complacent again and collapse like 
they did in Adelaide, for 36. 

They have four wickets in hand and are 2 runs ahead in their second innings, with India to bat last.

For an encore, they have Pat Cummins and Adelaide Test debutant Cameron Green at the crease, followed by Cummins's New South Wales mates Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood.

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Among the five, only Green has come into the team as a batsman who can bowl. Together, they are expecting they'll be able to gather runs on Day 4 (Wednesday) and  dismiss 10 Indian wickets for a win.

The only difference this time around is: They are facing a revamped Indian side, in positions and attitude.

From Boxing Day to Day 3, also called the Moving Day, this Melbourne Test has offered valuable lessons from India's perspective on how to stay calm, composed, have patience, not allow a previous huge defeat affect your psyche  - all when you are away from home and have been forced to make four changes to the team, including two debutants.

Stand-in captain Rahane's exemplary patience is helping himself, his teammates and India. He has become a prime reference point for explaining to anyone how patience is a virtue.

Debutant Mohammed Siraj, who has impressed former Australian players watching him bowl, said this during the press conference after the end of Monday's play: "Jassi [Bhai - Jasprit Bumrah] was constantly telling me to have patience and the result will come. The wicket was not offering anything. So, as a senior he [Bumrah] suggested we bowl more dot balls and build up pressure."

Onsitego [CPA] IN As a fan, you'd have felt India made a rush of their effort when they resumed batting on the third day, 82 runs ahead. They lost five wickets for 49 runs, leaving Australia to first wipe off a deficit of 131 runs.

Aussie legend Shane Warne, from the commentary box, revealed that skipper Tim Paine had charted out the future course already in his mind.

Warne said Paine was confident that even if India leaves them a lead of 150, Australia's batting had the power to score 350 runs and make a match of it.

When they batted, Bumrah exposed a glaring weakness for the benefit of other bowlers on how Steve Smith can be tamed, Ravichandran Ashwin showed the hosts there could be several new variations to off spin bowling that their batsmen need to learn, Ravindra Jadeja gave a display of accurate bowling and Siraj exhibited how a debutant can turn incisive with encouraging support and advise from seniors.

There's little this Rahane-led side could do wrong when they step on the field on the fourth day.

As Siraj informed the media, their focus will be on not doing too much as the wicket has turned slow.

The last four Aussie wickets will get into the arena knowing that India's bowlers will bowl in specific areas, bowl lot of dot balls and build pressure, will  not give them easy balls to play, and will not do any trial runs with the tailenders.

The only option Paine's boys have is to bat like top order Test batsmen. 

Updated scorecard: Ind vs Aus, 2nd Test, Day 3

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