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India vs Australia: Cheteshwar Pujara stands tall, Pat Cummins stars with ball on see-saw day in Ranchi

Cheteshwar Pujara's ton takes India to 360/6 but Pat Cummins' four wickets keep Australia ahead by 91 runs at stumps on Day 3

By: Express Web Desk | Ranchi | Updated: March 18, 2017 6:04 pm
india vs australia, ind vs aus, india vs australia test, ind vs aus score, pujara, cheteshwar pujara, cricket news, cricket Cheteshwar Pujara scored his 11th Test century against Australia in Ranchi. (Source: AP)

A cover-drive for four. Cheteshwar Pujara drove a full delivery from Pat Cummins between mid-off and cover fielder to bring up his 11th Test century and also the first for an Indian batsman in this series. By the end of the day’s play in Ranchi, Pujara was still standing his ground, adding 30 more runs to his hundred.

But the day was not only Pujara’s. Cummins, making a return to Test cricket after a gap of five years and four months, picked up three wickets on the third day of the third Test. He had dismissed KL Rahul on the second day itself. At stumps, India were 360 for the loss of six wickets, still trailing Australia by 91 runs in the first innings.

Apart from Pujara’s heroic innings, there was little to celebrate about Indian batting. Wriddhiman Saha was the other unbeaten batsman for India on 18. Both teams had their chances to dominate the Test match but could not capatalise on crucial moments. Australia, though, will still be happy to be in lead.

India were at one stage 193 for the loss of one wicket with Murali Vijay batting on 82. But in the last over before Lunch, Vijay came down the pitch to Steve O’Keefe and missed the delivery completely. Matthew Wade completed a smart stumping which saw the end of Vijay and 193-run stand between Pujara and him for the second wicket. Vijay had survived a close bat-pad catch while batting on 58. An inside-edge went undetected and Australia could not challenge the on-field decision of not-out having exhausted their reviews.

Virat Kohli, who had injured his shoulder while fielding, came out to bat at number four after Lunch but his innings was only 23 balls long. Cummins, operating with the second new ball, dismissed Kohli for six. Later, he a had Ajinkya Rahane caught behind after the Indian vice-captain played an ugly ramp shot.

The three wickets in the second session reduced India to 303 for the loss of four wickets and overshadowed a 109-run innings from Pujara, who 15 boundaries in his knock.

Karun Nair was moving into his stride slowly and made 23 runs before Josh Hazlewood got one through his defence and removed his off-stump.

Cummins made it four wickets in the innings when he had R Ashwin caught behind with another short ball, something he used to great effect. The on-field umpire had given not-out after Australia appealed but Steve Smith immediately asked for review. The UltraEdge showed a little spike as the ball passed the gloves. Ashwin was not happy with the decision and insisted that he did not hit the ball.

But Saha and Pujara did not give Australia any more success and took India closer to Australia first innings total of 451.

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  1. D
    Mar 18, 2017 at 8:49 pm
    Kohli is useless, fear and out of formlt;br/gt;Rehane is pathetic and he is a joke as vice captain. He should be send to Ranji matches to score runs and get form.lt;br/gt;Karun Nair is one test wonder.lt;br/gt;Ishant Sharma is hiding and not up to the mark.lt;br/gt;All bowlers should make atleast 10-20 runs in each test. Simply giving wickets is not acceptable
    1. K
      Mar 19, 2017 at 3:16 am
      Hindu gods are on every corner and street but these cricketers when they scored century looks to the sky insulting the street god.
      1. N
        Narendra M
        Mar 18, 2017 at 2:17 pm
        1. Cheteshwar Pujara’s innings today was a master piece for any Test player to be proud of. 2. I believe that this third Test match is a sort of reality check for a few members of Team India. Captain Virat Kohli is going through a rough patch (and he has to get over that at the earliest). Ajinkya Rahane, his deputy, too is not at all performing as per his known potential. Fast bowler Ishant Sharma’s performance is just below par. Karun Nair after his terrific performance and a triple century against England is yet to regain even 20 per cent of that form. 2. Head coach of Team India Anil Kumble would have to perhaps use his past experience to ensure that Kohli, Rahane Nair and Sharma perform to their true potential. 3. Incidentally, if we have to win the third Test, both Cheteshwar Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha have to add another 200 runs at least to India’s present score of 360/6. This is not an impossible task. Let us see what happens on day 4 of the Test match tomorrow.
        1. P
          Mar 18, 2017 at 8:10 pm
          How many more cgance will the Board be offering to Rahane, before discarding him. Murali Vijay is beneficiary simply because right now other opening candidates are struggling. Saha is useless and hope soon he will make way for Rishabh Pant.
          1. T
            t d
            Mar 18, 2017 at 11:31 pm
            As required, the Team India batted the w day and scored about 250 runs and the run rate is slightly slow. Now the Team India with Pujara, Saha and Ravinder Jadeja shall try to score the remaining 90 runs and take at least some lead before lunch. I think the test is going to towards draw and it will thus leave both the teams for a result and series win in the Final Test.
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