The scoreline and history was firmly against Australia at the end of the third day of the first test in Adelaide yesterday with India having forged a lead of 166.

In a compelling final session, Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara (40 not out), who was continuing a personal tour de force, put together a stand of 71 in an absorbing passage of test cricket, and despite Kohli's late dismissal to Nathan Lyon for 34, India remained in a position to bat the home side out of the match today. India led by 166 runs with seven wickets remaining (151-3) at stumps last night on a frustrating rain-affected day.

The second session was delayed by 30 minutes due to persistent rain at the Adelaide Oval. After rash dismissals in the first innings, Murali Vijay and KL Rahul played watchfully to defy quicks Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc.

The out-of-form Rahul only scored one run off his first 25 deliveries. After seeing off Starc, he opened up and counterattacked Pat Cummins, hitting a cover drive for six.

Advertisement

Spinner Lyon tried to halt the momentum and troubled Rahul immediately. The left-hander had a reprieve on 32 when Aaron Finch dropped a tough catch at leg-slip.

Vijay and Rahul produced a 50-run partnership for the first time outside of India. Starc returned into the attack after the drinks break and broke the stand by dismissing Vijay, who edged to second slip.

India had a first-innings lead of 15 runs after bowling out Australia for 235. After sweltering conditions during the opening two days, only 10.4 overs were bowled in the first session.

Travis Head top-scored for Australia with 72 and equalled his highest test score. He received invaluable support from Lyon, who hit an unbeaten 24 from 28 balls.

India's four-pronged attack shared the wickets with paceman Jasprit Bumrah and spinner Ravi Ashwin picking up three apiece.

Australia resumed at 191-7 with Head on 61 not out and Starc unbeaten on eight.

Twenty minutes into the session, under the lights, Starc recklessly drove a full Bumrah delivery and edged to be caught behind.

Play was then interrupted for an hour due to rain.

Lyon dominated the strike in his partnership with Head and counterattacked with a six off a hook shot from Mohammed Shami's first delivery.

Two balls later, Head played away from his body to be caught behind and Hazlewood fell first ball, leaving Shami on a hat-trick when Australia bats in their second innings.

Twenty overs were eventually lost on day three after the rain delays.

- AP