INDORE, India, March 2 (Reuters) – Australia lost their last six wickets for just 11 runs to concede much of their advantage on day two of the third test against India in Indore on Thursday.
Having bundled out India for 109 on Wednesday, the touring side looked in command at 186-4 before their middle and lower order caved in and they were eventually all out for 197.
Having conceded a handy lead of 88, India were 13 for no loss at lunch and will need to bat out of their skin to set Australia a decent target in the spin-dominated contest.
After 14 wickets tumbled on day one, the rank turner at the Holkar Cricket Stadium looked significantly easier to bat on as Australia resumed on 156-4.
Playing his first match of the series, Cameron Green (21) looked quite comfortable against the spinners, while Peter Handscomb (19) dug his heel in at the other end.
After an opening hour of risk-free accumulation of runs, both the batsmen fell in successive overs triggering a collapse.
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Ravichandran Ashwin (3-44) induced an inside edge from Handscomb and Shreyas Iyer took a sharp catch at short leg to break the dour fifth-wicket stand.
Handscomb, who was trying to defend the ball, soaked up 98 deliveries for his 19.
Green fell for 21 in the next over, trapped lbw by Umesh Yadav, who generated enough reverse swing to trouble the Australian tail.
Both Mitchell Starc and Todd Murphy lost their off-stumps to the seamer who finished with figures of 3-12 in his five tidy overs.
Steve Smith is leading Australia in the absence of regular skipper Pat Cummins, who has returned home to be with his ailing mother.
India are 2-0 ahead in the four-test series for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
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