IND v AUS 3rd Test, Day 3 Review: Pujara century takes India past 350, Cummins bag 4
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After an intense battle over the past two days, it was bound to be the make or break day for both teams. Australia had got themselves to a position of strength after making a mammoth 451 but India bounced back strongly in the final session on Day 2 to finish at 120/1.
Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujar began proceedings. Vijay stepped down the track and smashed Steve O’Keefe over the long on boundary for a huge six in the 2nd over of the day. Josh Hazlewood bowled in the right areas and troubled both Pujara and Vijay on a consistent basis.
Vijay reached his half-century in the 50th over by tucking Steve O’Keefe towards the fine leg region. The duo batted with utmost caution and didn’t allow the Australians to breakthrough. They kept on rotating the strike occasionally and struck the boundaries here and there. They were unruffled and was hardly troubled by any of the bowlers after the initial burst by Hazlewood.
Meanwhile, Australia lost their 2nd review in the 58th over when they wrongly went upstairs when Vijay had inside edged a ball onto his pads. Virat Kohli was pumped up from the dressing room as Australia lost both their reviews. Vijay struck some delightful shots towards the end of the session but in the last over a lapse in concentration cost him dearly and he gave away his wicket.
He stepped down the wicket of a Steve O’Keefe delivery. He was not in the line of the ball and missed it altogether. Matthew Wade completed an easy stumping behind the stumps. Despite losing the wicket, India will be happy with their effort going into lunch.
Despite losing two wickets in the 2nd session India would be pretty happy with their performance after scoring more than 110 runs in the session. Captain Virat Kohli’s lean patch continued as he was dismissed cheaply by Pat Cummins after making only 6. He was lured into the drive by Cummins which took his outside edge and was grabbed by Steve Smith at slip.
Ajinkya Rahane joined Puji in the middle and the duo looked to consolidate their strong position. Rahane played two delightful shots during his brief stay but was dismissed soon after by Cummins. It was a bouncer and Rahane attempted to ramp it towards the fine leg region. It was too high to reach and he edged it straight to Wade.
Meanwhile, Pujara completed his 11th Test century in the 94th over by smashing Cummins towards the cover region for a boundary. Karun Nair also played two brilliant shots as India went to tea at 303/4, trailing Australia by 148 runs.
Team India lost another two wickets in the final session of the day to surrender the advantage to Australia. Karun Nair and Ravichandran Ashwin were the batsmen dismissed in the final session which enabled the Aussies to restrict India to at the end of the 3rd day’s play.
The pitch seems to be a batting paradise and India is, making full use of it. Beginning the session with Pujara and Karun Nair in the middle, India looked in complete control.until Josh Hazlewood breached through Nair’s defence with a terrific inswinging delivery which crashed onto the middle and leg.
Ravichandran Ashwin joined Pujara in the middle with both adopting a cautious approach. Ashwin was dismissed by Pat Cummins after making 3 of 232 deliveries. There was steep bounce and Ashwin gloved it straight to the wicket-keeper Matthew Wade. The onfield decision went against the visitors, replays showed there was a clear spike on ultra edge and the decision had to be overturned.
Wicket-keeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha who is generally a slow and shaky starter began with 10 dot balls. He stepped down the track to Steve O’Keefe to smash him over his head for a boundary and paddle swept him for another boundary in the penultimate over of the day. Eventually, the duo ensured India reached stumps without any further hiccups.
Come 4th day India will be hoping to take a sufficient lead which might put the visitors under pressure. Tomorrow might well prove to be the make or break day for both the teams and it might also decide the outcome of the series
Here is what exactly happened:
Australia 451 all out in 137.3 overs (Steve Smith 178*, Glenn Maxwell 104, Ravindra Jadeja 5/124, Umesh Yadav 3/106)
India 360/6 in 130 overs (Cheteshwar Pujara 130*, Murali Vijay 82, KL Rahul 67, Pat Cummins 4/59, Josh Hazlewood 1/66)
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