‘Jittery Aussies reluctant to show emotions’
The Adelaide Test may be evenly poised but there is a clear winner in the verbal battle.
And aren't the Indians revelling in it.
With Australia effectively silenced by the scandalous sandpapergate saga, India have willingly taken up the mantle of chief chirpers, according to The Times of India.
"The hosts have been so genial on the field that Steve Smith and David Warner, banned for their role in the balltampering, must be wondering whether they should play kindergarten cricket once again before returning to the Test fold.
"So jittery are the Aussies at the moment that the players are even reluctant to show their emotions on the field."
Bharat Sundaresan in The Times of India blasts Australia's batting wastefulness as a string of bad shots left them on the brink.
"For every time, it looked like one of them had got his eye in, and they were about to blow hot, they didn't just blow cold, they froze, and they perished.
"It didn't help that they also got out playing shots that weren't warranted and were cringe-worthy if you were an Australian fan. Not to forget, at the worst times possible.
While all the attention has been on Ravi Ashwin as India's potential match-winner in Adelaide, pace bowler Mohammed Shami is looming as Australia's biggest threat to pulling off an upset win.
Shami picked up the wickets of Marcus Harris and Peter Handscomb on Sunday and is quickly emerging as aa major Test force, especially under pressure with the game often on the line.
The Indian Express has an interesting write up on the 28-year-old, saying 'he is no Mitchell Johnson or Brett Lee. Rather, it was methodical, nuanced seam-bowling deception, the skills shining as much as his brains. Minimalistic as much as penetrative"
"Shami incessantly pounded the deck, continuously banged the channel, made the ball seam both ways, late and subtly, on a surface that was getting tepidly slow. Occasionally, he would produce that heavy ball which explodes off the surface, hitting the unsuspecting batsman high on the bat-sticker. It was simple, uncluttered bowling - and Shami is at his best when his mind is free and clear - and one that was eventually rewarding, though his best deliveries of the day went unrewarded.
And in another big warning for the Aussies from the same publication, India vice captain Ajinkya Rahane is rounding into some nice form.
Rahane scored 70 in India's second innings of 307 in Adelaide and looked to have rediscovered the feet movement that made him such an imposing player over the years.
"It was an opportune time to reconquer his form - it has not been an obnoxious struggle, like he was on a string of ducks, but there was something shaky about him. He would get starts and then get out unexpectedly.
"It was a much more positive pattern of feet movement guaranteed him an invaluable 70, not career-defining but a catalyst to achieving the gold standard yardstick of the past."
India's batsmen have shelved their egos for the sake of a bigger cause, says assistant coach Sanjay Bangar.
But he warns the top-order batsmen will get "no respite" from Australia's fast bowlers for the remainder of the series.
"They will put the ball in the right area; they will keep asking the questions of our batsmen," Bangar said.
"You have to sacrifice your ego and play time. That's what we are looking at."