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Can Australia win from here?

Well the obvious answer is no. But let's take a look at the most recent history of this (boring) MCG wicket, and go back 12 months.

Nathan Lyon had 3 catches dropped off his bowling. Source: The Australian

On a similar lifeless wicket in 2017, a David Warner century and a Steve Smith half century, before a late Australia collapse saw Australia only make 327 against the touring England team. From there, the tourists, out of form as a team and down 3-0 in the series, lifted a gear.

Alastair Cook, who went into the test badly out of form, made 244 not out in England score of 10/491. Batting on days 2,3 and into day 4 on a flat wicket proved fruitful for England. Australia must plan for their batsmen to do the same.

12 months ago the wicket didn't fall apart, so when Australia had to keep wickets in tact on day 5, they did, and did so easily. Australia in fact only lost 2 wickets on day 5. Steve Smith making a century in the process.

Aaron Finch will continue his innings on Day 3. Credit: Times of India

India showed Australia a good blueprint. They worked hard against the new ball. There is little doubt the job Shastri and Kohli would have given to temporary opener Hanuma Vihari was simply to survive and to protect his middle order. He did that, and the middle order thrived. His 8 off 66 may look like an average innings in the score book, but he had a job to do and he did it. In doing so he showed Australian's openers the importance of putting a value on their wicket, something they must do so in the opening session tomorrow.

Australia will get a well rolled track that may keep low at times on day 3, but should be good enough for batting to replicate what India did with the bat. The closer they get to India's first innings total, the closer they will get to a decider in Sydney. As unlikely as it is from here, if Australia can find a batsmen or two that can go big, in the same way Cook did on a similar deck last year, you never know where they can take this test.

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