A 121-run stand between stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane and Ravindra Jadeja took India 131 runs clear of Australia's first innings total on Day 3 of the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne on Monday. 

In an emphatic response to the Adelaide debacle, where they were bundled out for just 36 in the second innings, the visitors scored 326 in response to Australia's 195, putting them in the driver's seat as they look to level the four match series at 1-1. 

Rahane (112 from 223) and Jadeja (57 from 159) added 17 runs to the overnight score of 277/5 before a sharp piece of fielding from Marnus Labuschagne lead to the former's run out.

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Jadeja was looking to bring up his 15th Test fifty with a quick single, pushing a Nathan Lyon delivery to point, but Rahane couldn't make it to the crease before Labuschagne's superb throw was collected by skipper Tim Paine to complete the run out. 

Jadeja, who returned to the team after missing the first Test through injury, went on to complete his fifty before pulling a short ball from Mitchell Starc straight to Pat Cummins at deep mid-wicket to end his important innings. 

Rahane's run-out proving to be a crucial turning point as India lost their last five wickets for just 32 runs, with their final three batsmen adding just the one run to the total. Starc (3/78) and Lyon (3/72) were the pick of the bowlers as they cleaned out the remainder of the tail.