The Boxing Day Test -- the biggest cricket match in an Australian summer. India have only one option when the battle resumes on Friday, get out there at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and show they can not just match up against Australia, but go one better and trump them, something they have just failed to do in the first two Tests of this series.
Down 2-0, after agonising losses in Adelaide and Brisbane, MS Dhoni and co, need to find their bouncebackability powers from somewhere, something they have been unable to do in recent away Test series'.
"It is possible to turn things around," Dhoni said. "We have been competitive in the series so far. We have played good cricket right through the two Test matches apart from maybe 30-45 minutes, where we have lacked a few things.
"If we can arrest those shortcomings, we can turn the tide. We feel that we are close but it will have to reflect in our performance."
While the batsmen have impressed in patches, the India bowlers have just not been able to produce the goods consistently enough to trouble the Aussie willow-wielders. Twenty wickets are imperative for a team to win a Test match, and right now the India bowlers just don't seem capable of that, even if Dhoni has not lost his faith.
"The mentality of our fast bowlers is different because we play more than 60 percent of our cricket in conditions where they don't bowl too many overs in a Test match," added the India skipper. "When we go overseas, they only look for one thing -- wickets. At times they try too many things.
"What we have tried to inculcate in them is that when you play overseas, especially with the Kookaburra ball, the most important thing after the 25th over is to be consistent with your line and length.
"Ishant [Sharma] has learned it over the years with experience. The other bowlers have been playing Test cricket since only a year or so and they will get better as they play more matches. However, there has been a lot of improvement in their consistency."
Steven Smith had a glorious start to life as Australia captain, striking a hundred -- his second in the series -- and showing his captaincy skills to lead his team over the line. The Boxing Day Test, though, does bring with it that extra bit of pressure, and if Smith can handle that, then Australia just might have a real gem of a captain/batsman in their team for years to come.
"I think it is the perfect time for him, he is on top of his game at the moment which is one thing you don't have to worry about being captain.," said Brad Haddin, who was the other candidate to take over as captain from the injured Michael Clarke. "He is a good leader, he is only young and he is going to get better and better in the role.
"It was an outstanding decision by Cricket Australia. He has got a good core group of senior guys to help him out if he needs it, but things are going well. He's got his own thoughts on the game, he is a good thinker about it, he still wants to learn."
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The Boxing Day Test at the MCG is scheduled for a 10.30 am local time (5 am IST, 12 am GMT, 7 pm ET) start with live coverage in India on Star Sports 1,Star Sports 3 (Hindi) and Star Sports HD1. Audience in India can also watch the cannot-miss-it Test match via live streaming online on Starsports.com.
Catch the 3rd Test in Australia live on Channel 9, while viewers can also live stream the action on Cricket Australia Live or the Cricket Australia Live App. Australia vs India can be watched by viewers in the USA on Willow TV or via a live stream on Willow TV Online.
Audience in the UK catch the Test match live on Sky Sports 2, while the live streaming option is on Sky Go or Watch Sky Sports. Viewers in the Middle East can catch the match live on OSN or via live streaming online on OSN Play.
Team news: Australia: The home team have a couple of changes in their team, one enforced and the other as a result of one of their main bowlers recovering from a niggle. Joe Burns will make his Test debut in place of the injured Mitchell Marsh, who was walking wounded for much of the second Test at the Gabba. Ryan Harris also returns to the side, with Mitchell Starc making way.
David Warner is expected to shake off a thumb injury to take guard at the top for Australia, while Shaun Marsh is also set to play after suffering a knock in training.
India: The obvious change would be Suresh Raina coming in for the out-of-sorts Rohit Sharma, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar could also make his first appearance in Australia after recovering from an ankle injury. Dhoni confirmed Bhuvneshwar is available for selection and a decision on the swing bowler will be made based on if his ankle will be able to stand up to the rigours of Test match cricket. If Bhuvneshwar is recalled, then Varun Aaron is the one most likely to sit out.
Expected lineups: Australia: David Warner, Chris Rogers, Shane Watson, Steven Smith (capt), Shaun Marsh, Joe Burns, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.
India: Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (capt), R Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron, Ishant Sharma.