Jasprit Bumrah ended with a career-best 6-33, collecting his third five-wicket Test haul having also achieved the feat against South Africa and England as Australia were bundled out for 151 on Day 3 of the third Test match in Melbourne.
With a 292-run first innings advantage, India skipper Virat Kohli could have enforced the follow-on but instead opted to turn the screws and add to the imposing total. Former Australia skipper Alan Border was quite surprised by Kohli’s decision to not enforce the follow-on and he said that ‘they could have had the game just about done today’.
“You would like to think so [that Australia can come back into this] and I think this afternoon’s cricket has obviously given Australia a little bit of hope but the lead now almost to that stage where it’s going to be hard to chase down. The pitch is still playing okay and we know it doesn’t deteriorate too much over here the next couple of days. India are still in the box seat but they’ve left the door slightly ajar for the Aussies,” Border said on Sony Sports.
Border was quite surprised by Kohli’s decision despite rain forecast over the weekend in Melbourne. Under Kohli’s captaincy, India have won four out of five matches enforcing a follow-on, while one ended in a draw owing to rain.
“I was really surprised that follow-on wasn’t enforced given that talking about high percentage of rain on Day 5 and even tomorrow some rain. So just with that lurking in the background, I thought you’ve got all the momentum you way, you’ve bowled Australia out and Bumrah has been fantastic. You’ve only bowled like what 67 overs so I thought you could mix and match your bowlers this afternoon and get them to freshen over the night and attack Australia in the morning.
“So they could have had the game just about done today and even if you gotta chase, say Australia have batted extraordinarily well and you’ve got to chase 120-140, this pitch here can get those runs. Look I thought India missed an opportunity to really seal the game but they’ve still got the higher ground,” Border added.