Things were travelling smoothly for the Indians in the second Test in Bengaluru.
Then the Aussie skipper Steve Smith took another one of those mind-boggling catches that have become a familiar sight throughout the summer of cricket.
The effort left the Indians at 2 for 83. At least, until the danger man Virat Kohli fell for 15 runs in one of the tightest reviews this match will see.
And it's safe to say, Australia was stoked.
— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) March 6, 2017
The Indians are hardly struggling though. If anything, they're keeping the Aussies looking at a long, hard road to victory.
India finished day three without a wicket in the final session, finishing at 4 for 213 with a lead of 126 over Australia.
Australia was all out for 276 in its first innings of the second Test against India in Bengaluru with a lead of 87 runs.
The visitors would have hoped for a slightly larger lead, but wickets fell rapidly towards the end of the first hour of the first session on day three.
But the fact Australia was in front at all is testament to some of the most beautifully boring cricket anyone has ever seen. That's right. It was boring. And oh god, was it magnificent.
When Australia scored just 197 runs on day two, your typical member of the generation raised on the Slam! Bam! of Twenty20 cricket would have curled up the foetal position from the sheer frustration of seeing so very little happen in six hours of play.
But Australia played to a plan. That plan was to stay around as long as possible on a desperately funky pitch which looked more like an outback clay pan than a strip of turf.
Runs were almost an afterthought, or at least, an incidental thing that would happen if you were still there at the crease at the end of one over, and the one after that. So it was that Matt Renshaw scored 60 off 196 balls and Shaun Marsh 66 off 197. Neither is the most attractive batsman on their best day, but here, they were deliciously stodgy.
Enjoying the hard graft of Renshaw and Smith here.— Jason Gillespie (@dizzy259) 5 de março de 2017
Test Cricket at its best!#INDvsAUS
Everything the world stands for around these days is exactly what the Australian first innings was not. The world now is all about relentless reinvention, about stuff that happens fast, about flashes of light and things that go bleep, and buzzwords like "disruption" -- a horrible term as meaningless as it is overused.
But the Australian batsmen rejected all that, and reminded the public that dogged resistance can be as thrilling as the most spirited counter-attack. It really was a joy to watch.
Boring? Try these words. Try Gutsy. Or thoughtful. Or watchful. Or suspenseful. Or stubborn. Or even -- wait for it -- mindful. That, too, is a contemporary buzzword. But if mindfulness is about tuning your anxious mind out to the relentless buzz of the modern world, and finding a place of inner calm and strength, then that's exactly what the Australian lead was built on.
Having said all that, the lead is not quite what Australia would have hoped for. India went to lunch at 0/38, having reduced the deficit to less than 50. Australia struck back straight after lunch through Josh Hazlewood, which was just the start they needed.Suggest a correction