HYDERABAD  – Australia’s bowlers took one step forward and its batsmen two back as the inevitability of another comprehensive Indian victory grew on the third day at the Rajiv Ghandi Stadium Hyderabad. Even a draw was going to take an act of historic application, but that thin thread of hope presented itself when the bowlers managed to take 9-116 yesterday to halt an Indian innings that had the momentum of a runaway train and a similarly destructive intent.The home side was gone for 503 from 154 overs and still had a first innings lead of 266, but had cast a template of how to handle such conditions by batting across five sessions of the match. “If you are looking at batting all day tomorrow you would look at being in front at least by the end of the day,” said allrounder Glenn Maxwell. “I guess our number one aim is to still be there at stumps tomorrow - 150 would be an ideal target but from this point it is just about being there tomorrow.” Alas, Australia’s top order has lost its way and its confidence in a country where few have the experience or patience to navigate a path out of the spinner’s maze. Ed Cowan, attempting to take lbw out of the frame, took up a position so far down the wicket he was almost in the shadow of the umpire’s brim and took 29 balls to get off the mark. Even then he needed a break and got one when MS Dhoni dropped an inside edge from the bowling of Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He and David Warner saw off the first hour and ticked off another half century but the latter was gone soon after, bowled around his legs attempting a sweep of Ravi Ashwin for 26.Phil Hughes did not learn any lessons from the opener’s demise and fell the same way to the spinner for a duck and Australia had lost 2-0. Vultures are never far from the unorthodox Hughes’s head and some may detect them on the horizon with a return of just 25 runs (including two ducks) from two matches here, but he scored two 80s in his three Tests on return before coming to India.Cowan (26no) and Shane Watson (9no) remained unmolested at stumps (2-74) and must chart a course beyond the 192 runs needed to make India bat again. Mickey Arthur and Michael Clarke were annoyed by the efforts of the top order in the first innings and made it known on the second morning of the match. “We had a pretty tough chat with our batsmen this morning because we thought they’d probably wasted a bit of an opportunity yesterday (day one),” Arthur said.The coach acknowledged that apart from the captain no batsman had really cashed in on a good start. “It’s something that batsmen certainly don’t want to do,” Arthur said. “I think the history of the series so far shows that when we’ve lost a wicket we tend to lose them in clumps. Clarke getting 130 was sublime, Clarke getting 91 was outstanding, Matty Wade getting to 64, yeah perhaps he should have gone on a little bit. I’m more worried about the guys that are getting to 20 and 30 and getting out because if you get to 20 or 30 you’ve got to be able to go the whole hog and take that responsibility to get a massive first-innings score.” After taking 1-306 on day two, the Australians enjoyed a veritable orgy of wickets - at least by comparison with the first four sessions.Clarke’s two spinners took seven wickets yesterday, but were so late to the party most of the punch had been drunk. The scalps cost the pair a combined 258 runs. It might be a bit much to call anybody the chief destroyer in an innings of such magnitude, but Maxwell’s aggression saw him pick up 4-127. The allrounder claimed his first Test wicket when he got a ball to kick on Murali Vijay (167) and soon after James Pattinson had Cheteshwar Pujara (204) caught on the boundary. The pair fell 12 runs short of the highest ever partnership against Australia - Len Hutton and Maurice Leylands 382 in 1938. scoreboardAUSTRALIA, 1ST INNINGS: 237/9D INDIA, 1ST INNINGS: (311-1) Vijay c Cowan b Maxwell167Sehwag c Wade b Siddle6Pujara c Doherty b Pattinson204Tendulkar c Wade b Pattinson7Kohli c Cowan b Maxwell34MS Dhoni c Doherty b Maxwell44RA Jadeja c & b Maxwell10R Ashwin c Hughes b Doherty1Harbhajan c Maxwell b Doherty0B Kumar st Wade b Doherty10I Sharma not out2EXTRAS: (b 1, lb 13, w 4)18TOTAL: (all out; 154.1 overs)503FOW: 1-17, 2-387, 3-393, 4-404, 5-460, 6-484, 7-485, 8-489, 9-491, 10-503  BOWLING: JL Pattinson 29-11-80-2, PM Siddle 31-6-92-1, MC Henriques 21-7-45-0, XJ Doherty 46.1-15-131-3, GJ Maxwell 26-2-127-4, DA Warner 1-0-14-0.AUSTRALIA, 2ND INNINGS:EJM Cowan not out26DA Warner b Ashwin26PJ Hughes b Ashwin0SR Watson not out9EXTRAS: (b 7, lb 6)13TOTAL: (2 wckts; 32 overs)74FOW: 1-56, 2-56BOWLING:B Kumar 6-4-7-0, R Ashwin 15-6-42-2, Harbhajan Singh 8-5-10-0, RA Jadeja 3-2-2-0Toss: Australia Umpires: HDPK Dharmasena (Sri Lanka) and M Erasmus (South Africa) TV umpire: S Ravi Match referee: BC Broad (England)