Day three will be a pivotal day for Australia’s much maligned top-order, with Joe Burns, Matthew Wade and Travis Head all looking for runs to secure their futures.
Whenever Australia begins its second innings a decent first innings deficit seems likely, and length occupation of the crease will be vital.
In much the same way that Indian skipper Ajinkya Rahane ground the Australians into the MCG dust yesterday, a substantial innings is required from at least two of the home batsmen.
Burns would appear to be on his last chance, following a horror summer that has seen record four ducks in 12 innings.
Matthew Wade’s move to the top of the order is yet to pay dividends. He looked reasonably comfortable against the fast bowlers on day one, but was brought undone by the spinners, a fact unlikely to have been missed by the tourists.
Even the normally reliable Steve Smith has been going through a run of outs. It’s been three years since he made a Test hundred in this country, and he’s managed just 1, 1 not out and 0 in the series so far.