Day three will be a pivotal day for Australia’s much-maligned First Order, with Joe Burns, Matthew Wade and Travis Head all looking for races to secure their future.
Whenever Australia enter their second set, a decent first set deficit looks likely, and long occupation of the crease will be vital.
Just as Indian skipper Ajinkya Rahane put the Australians in the MCG dust yesterday, a substantial end is required from at least two of the local drummers.
Burns appears to be at his last chance, after a summer of horror that saw a record four ducks in 12 innings.
Matthew Wade’s rise to the top of the order has yet to bear fruit. He looked reasonably comfortable against the fast bowlers on day one, but was defeated by the spinners, a fact unlikely to have been missed by tourists.
Even the normally reliable Steve Smith has seen a string of misdemeanors. It’s been three years since he’s done a hundred tests in this country, and he’s only passed 1, 1 not released and 0 in the series so far.