Australia reduced India’s chances of squaring up the Test Series with a sound batting performance which allowed just the three wickets to be taken in the whole of the third day’s play. Riding by Matt Hayden’s 30th century, Australia finished the day at 322 for 3 with Skipper Ricky Ponting regaining his lost touch with an unbeaten 79. With nothing really happening in terms of taking the game forward, all the focus was on one man and his decision and that was Adam Gilchrist, who announced that this was his last Test Match of his career!
The touring team did well in a way by not allowing the Australians to get off the hook. For once, Australia struggled to get their runs quickly and their run rate was kept below 3.00 runs per over! The Indian attack struggled to do the magic as they were without the services of their best pace bowler – Rudra Pratap Singh, who was ruled out of the Test Match with a hamstring strain!
The openers set the tone for the home side as Hayden and Phil Jaques carried on from where they had left yesterday. They saw the first session through without any problem. It was only after lunch that a crazy sweep shot from Phil Jaques provided the much waited breakthrough for Anil Kumble and his team. Jaques (60 from 159 balls with 3 fours) yet again failed to convert his start into three figures, but he made sure that Aussies got to 159 in about 53 overs. Hayden after that went past the Don’s record of 29 centuries by getting his 30th hundred in 181 balls. His innings only came to an end with the ball of the test match when Ishanth Sharma got one to reverse swing at sharp speed to crash past the defenses. Hayden got 103 from 200 balls with 10 fours and a six.
After Hayden’s exit, there was no instant joy for the Indians with another partnership building up. This time it was from Michael Hussey along with Ponting. Hussey had survived a couple of close shaves before he got cleaned up in a similar fashion to that of Hayden. The bowler was Irfan Pathan though with not much of pace but with the same result of cleaning up the left hander with a big inswinger. Husey got 22 in a partnership of 55 with Ponting. That was the only wicket to come India’s way in the rest of the day with Ponting (79) putting on an unbeaten partnership of 73 with Michael Clarke (37). India persisted with an old ball for most part of the day’s play as it was reversing. They eventually took the second new ball only in the 108th over.