Bowlers win you matches in Test match cricket, and yet again the India bowlers showed just why they are never going to be matchwinners in alien conditions, losing the plot spectacularly again to allow Steven Smith and co. to smash their way with ridiculous glee on Day 2 of the third Test in Melbourne.
After a disciplined bowling effort on day one, when they held Australia to 259 for five, those short balls rained in with increasing regularity on day two morning, before Smith, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris made full use of a demoralised bowling lineup to pile on the runs.
India needed to pick up an early wicket or two to ensure the home team do not get that momentum, but instead they allowed Smith and Haddin (55, 84b, 7x4, 1x6), the two overnight batsmen, to score runs quicker than they probably would have in an ODI match, and just like that all that good work from the opening day was nullified as Australia went into Lunch on Day 2 on 389 for seven in 115 overs, an addition of 130 runs for just the loss of two wickets in the morning session.
The second session was only worse as Smith (192, 305b, 15x4, 2x6), who just missed out on a maiden double century, and Ryan Harris stepped up a gear and found the boundaries with easy regularity to help Australia to a massive total of 530 all out in 142.3 overs, which pretty much means goodbye to India's hopes of evening the series.
In reply, India made a solid beginning to their first innings, finishing on 108/1 in 37 overs, trailing Australia by 422 runs.
No prizes for guessing that Shikhar Dhawan (28, 51b, 3x4) was the man to go, and that too in an all too-familiar manner after another start, with Ryan Harris, the chief presser and prober outside the off-stump, finding that outside edge which was brilliantly caught by he-can-do-no-wrong Smith in the slips.
Murali Vijay carried on his good form with the bat, though, with the right-hander on 55 (102b, 5x4) at stumps, with Cheteshwar Pujara (25, 69b, 2x4), lucky to survive after Haddin dropped a sitter when he was on just 12, for company. The duo's job is far from down, however, and both Vijay and Pujara will need to make big scores if India are to cut down on that massive Australia total.
Earlier, Smith and Haddin put on 67 runs in the first 11 overs in the morning, with both batsmen given gifts after gifts after gifts, which considering it is only two days after Christmas, they accepted with absolute glee.
With that Australia raced past 300, while Smith, treating 50,000 or so fans at the MCG to another hard-to-explain-how-good-it-is innings, stormed to his third hundred of the series, to leave India befuddled.
Haddin's wicket was almost as if the Gods above felt sorry for India and decided to give them something to smile about with the right-hander just failing to pull his bat back in time off a delivery from Mohammed Shami, which for once wasn't short, and with it bottom edging one to MS Dhoni.
Mitchell Johnson joined the centurion Smith in the middle and the left-hander was handed those short-pitch presents which was duly dispatched to the boundary. Johnson took the game away from India with a stunning 88 in the last Test match in Brisbane, and while this innings was nowhere near that class, the 28 from 37 balls, with five fours, did enough damage to just rub a little bit more salt into those gaping Indian wounds.
Smith at the other end, like he has been all series, was serene and unstoppable, with Harris taking the team to Lunch at the other end after Johnson was out stumped off the bowling of R Ashwin.
Harris then carried on from where Johnson had left off and stepped it up another level as well, pummeling the Indian bowlers en route to a bruising 74 (88b, 8x4, 1x6). Smith and Harris put on 106 runs together for the eighth wicket in quick time to just twist that knife further, with Nathan Lyon hanging around long enough to allow Smith to pull put his extravagant shots, as the away side seriously considered the possibility of jumping down that hole they had dug themselves in the morning and escape via some underground tunnel all the way back to India.