Mohali: After the twin horrors of Chennai and Hyderabad, Australia seemed set for some northern comfort in Mohali when first their openers and then Steven Smith showed the necessary application to score runs in Indian conditions. But, despite a 139-run opening stand, Australia contrived to end the second day of the third Test on 273 for 7. India's bowlers were largely unexceptional, but even on a pitch that did nothing alarming, Australia's batsmen never quite imposed themselves on the game, leaving India in a comfortable position at stumps on Friday (March 15).
When Michael Clarke won the toss and chose to bat, he may have been surprised that India chose to leave out Harbhajan Singh at his home ground, bringing back Pragyan Ojha. Eventually, it mattered little as Ed Cowan and David Warner bedded down against Ishant Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Ishant, who did not display convincing rhythm, was guilty of not asking enough questions of the batsmen. Cowan, as is his wont, spent his early time at the crease leaving alone as many balls as possible, content to let Warner force the pace.
When spin was introduced, in the form of R Ashwin, in the 10th over of the innings, there was an immediate change in tempo, with Warner playing and missing as he was unsure just how much the ball would turn after bouncing. To his credit, Warner made the transition from tentative to assertive without missing a beat, and began to use his feet to the slow bowlers. Ashwin was the first to be picked off when Warner came down the track to drill the ball back past the bowler for a boundary.