India A are in precarious position after Day 3 of the second unofficial Test match against Australia A. At stumps, India A had scored 267 in the second ininnings, a lead of just 53 runs, even as they have lost six of their batsmen.
Australia A ended their first ininnings at 349 on Day 2, aided by a brilliant knock of 150 runs by Cameron Bancroft that put his team in a commanding position.
Baba Aparajith (5) and Pragyan Ojha (4) together picked nine wickets in tandem.
When India came out to bat, their skipper Cheteshwar Pujara was yet again dismissed cheaply.
Abhinav Mukund played a gritty innings at the other end of the wicket and was involved in a 63-run partnership with Virat Kohli for the second wicket.
Kohli got off to a good start but wasted it as he was bowled by Steven O'Keefe. Kohli should have managed to stay at the crease for a longer period and should have been more sensible in terms of shot selection.
India were still not in soup when Kohli was dismissed. Karun Nair, who scored a brilliant half century in the first innings, played a quick innings of 31 runs from 34 balls until he was dismissed by the Aussie pacer Gurinder Sandhu. Shreyas Iyer too got off to a good start but failed to build on it. He scored 48 runs and got out to O'Keefe. Mukund stayed put at the other end of the wicket.
Ashton Agar has the knack of picking up important wickets at crucial moments of the match and displayed his skill once again when he picked up the wicket of Mukund, who was playing a sensible and an important inning. He was dismissed for a well-made 59.
Naman Ojha and Aparajith were buliding a partnership after India lost their half of their lineup but Ojha too did not last for long. O'Keefe was right on the money one more time and he picked up Ojha's wicket. O'Keefe's tally at the end of the day stood at 3 wickets for 83 runs in 28 overs.
Aparajith and Shreyas Gopal will have to make sure on the final day of the second unofficial Test match that they help India A reach a respectable total. At least their bowlers will have some runs to fight for.
On the other hand, Australia A bowlers would look to dismiss the India A tail enders as early as possible and try to win the match.