Virat Kohli's brilliant knock stole the show on day 3 of the Perth Test. His 25th century, his sixth overall in Australia put India on course to take the first-innings lead but Nathan Lyon ran through the tail to pick up his 14th five-wicket haul as Australia managed a slender 43-run lead. In response, the Indian bowlers took wickets at crucial intervals but Usman Khawaja's solid knock has stretched their lead to 175 at the end of day 3. With the pitch offering plenty of movement for the pacers, a target in excess of 250 or 300 could prove to be difficult for the Indian team to chase. (SCORECARD)
WICKET! That is another poor stroke from Travis Head. Twice, he has fallen in the third man area. Short and wide from Shami, Head flashes hard and the catch is taken by Ishant Sharma. Poor stroke under the conditions, just when Australia looked settled.
Head and Khawaja are building a decent stand as the lead crosses 150. The Indian pacers are getting variable bounce and every run from here could give them some worries.
WICKET! Ishant strikes and Handscomb's failures continue. Full ball and it nips back in late, Handscomb plays down the wrong line and gets hit on the back pad, Australia lose their third.
WICKET! Shami gets Marsh with a short ball and Australia are reeling a bit here. However, Handscomb and Khawaja get some crucial boundaries to push the lead closer to 150.
Bumrah is really troubling the Australian batsmen. The wicket is getting even more unpredictable with the bounce being variable. A target in excess of 300 will be very tricky for India.
WICKET! That is a brain fade from Harris. He has suffered a huge lapse in judgement here. Bumrah angles this good length ball in and it zips through, Harris is expecting that the Perth bounce will take it over but the ball hits the top of off stump.
Harris and Khawaja strike some wonderful boundaries as Umesh Yadav misses his line and length. India cannot afford to give away runs so eaily. Australia's lead has crossed 100. Even Mohammed Shami is struggling for rhythm.
Aaron Finch has retired hurt and he has been taken to the hospital for some x-rays. Australia would be hoping that it is nothing serious. Usman Khawaja has joined Harris out in the middle, who starts out in grand style by crunching a short ball to the deep cover fence for a boundary.
That will be tea on day 3 n Perth. Aaron Finch has gotten hit on the finger and he is getting some treatement. That is tea as well. One hopes that the right-hander is fine.
The partnership between Harris and Finch is looking strong. Australia have stretched the lead and India are under the pump slightly.
Harris is hit on the helmet by a nasty bouncer from Bumrah. The physio checks on him but he is alright.
Another chance missed! Finch is late on the pull shot and the ball hits the glove, Pant dives to his left but he cannot take the catch. This will not impress India one bit.
DROPPED! Cheteshwar Pujara at slip drops Marcus Harris off Ishant Sharma. This could prove to be costly. India cannot afford to let these slip.
Australia have taken the lead past 50 as Finch gets a streaky boundary to the third man fence off Ishant.
Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma begin proceedings and both are getting movement and bounce of the deck. Ishant, in particular, is getting inswing and is troubling Aaron Finch.
Nathan Lyon gets Jasprit Bumrah and he ends up with yet another five-wicket haul. Australia lead by 43 runs and this will be vital in the context of the game. If they can set India a target of over 300-350, then they can realistically look to win this Test match.
WICKET! Nathan Lyon gets his fourth wicket and Pant holes out to long on for an aggressive 36. He tried to get India close to the target but does not time this one well. Third time he has fallen to Nathan Lyon in this series.
A four and a big six by Pant off Lyon. He has taken control here and India would be aiming to get the deficit down further.
Umesh Yadav is somehow hanging in there but Rishabh Pant is unable to find the boundaries. The deficit is still 66 and Australia will be hoping for a lead in the range of 40-50.
CATCH DROPPED! Pant flays a full ball back to the bowler who is on his followthrough but he cannot hold on to the catch.
WICKET! Lyon gets his third wicket. Ishant chips a flighted delivery back to the bowler and India are sinking fast.
We are back for the second session. Can Australia wrap the tail up quickly or will Pant help India get the deficit down to a manageable level?
That is lunch on day 3. Australia have regained the initiative by getting rid of Kohli and Mohammed Shami cheaply. With India have a long tail, can Australia establish a decent lead? Join us in 30 minutes to find out.
EDGED and GONE! Finally, Australia get the massive wicket of Virat Kohli and it ends one of the best knocks you will see. Cummins bowls a full ball outside off and Kohli edges it to Peter Handscomb at second slip, the ball is dying as Handscomb gets his fingers underneath the ball, after the third umpire has a look, Kohli is given the marching orders.
Another four by Virat Kohli and India have reached 250. Australia are starting to get very worried here. If they can get one more wicket before the lunch break, they can then go after the tail.
Pant gets an edge and it goes past the gap in the slips for a boundary to third man. Every run that India makes piles on the pressure for Australia.
Pant and Kohli are looking to take the attack to the opposition. With the deficit now under 100, they can now think about taking a lead. Anywhere in the range of 50-100 will be gold.
The deficit is now under 100 as the bouncer from Starc goes awry and Tim Paine leaps but cannot get to it.
WICKET! That is just what the doctor ordered for Australia. The partnership is broken. Hazlewood gets this delivery to straighten in the corridor outside off stump and Vihari pokes at it. Falls for a gritty 20 but Kohli is still there.
The deficit is now almost below 100. If Kohli can stay there, this game will slip out of Australia's grasp very quickly. If they cannot reap dividends with the new ball, then the game is up for Tim Paine's side.
Kohli is in that zone now. After caressing Starc to the deep cover fence, Kohli latches on to a short ball from Hazlewood and cracks the upper-cut over the third man fence for this first six. Australia are starting to get deflated now.
Virat Kohli, you legend! An absolute champion! Drives Mitchell Starc down the ground for a boundary to bring up his 25th century and his sixth in Australia. He equals Sachin Tendulkar's mark with that feat. What an absolute legend. I have run out of adjectives
Virat Kohli nears the 90s with a magnificent drive through deep extra cover. Nathan Lyon gave it too much air and he was duly punished. Next ball, Kohli gets a leading edge but luckily there is no fielder. The second new ball is now available for Australia and this will be the key.
Driven down the ground by Vihari. Cummins floats a full ball and the batsman drills it down the ground for a lovely boundary. India continue to erase the deficit without much hassles.
Kohli is being kept off strike for most of the overs as he slowly makes his way through the 80s. However, he continues to be in great touch and is showing no signs of pressure.
Good heat maintained by Pat Cummins. Tim Paine is rotating his bowlers around. Only four overs remain for the new ball and that will be a vital period for both teams.
Almost a catch! Starc bangs it short and Vihari upper-cuts the ball to third man. He nearly picks ut Nathan Lyon who is positioned there but the ball just lands in front of him.
All eyes will be on how Hanuma Vihari bats with Kohli now. In the Oval Test, he had shown application on a difficult deck and impressed with his compact technique.
A warm welcome to one and all on day 3 of the Perth Test. It is not a good start for India as Ajinkya Rahane edges a flat, straight ball from Nathan Lyon to depart for 51. Sharp catch by Tim Paine and India suffer an early jolt.