Cheteshwar Pujara scored an unbeaten 130 as India reached 360/6 at stumps on Day 3 of the third Test against Australia in Ranchi. Resuming the day with 120 on the board and KL Rahul back in the pavilion, Pujara along with Murali Vijay added 73 runs as India looked in command against the Australian bowling attack. After Vijay's dismissal, India lost skipper Virat Kohli cheaply. Later, Pujara was supported by Ajinkya Rahane and Karun Nair as India crossed 300-run mark. Pat Cummins was the pick of the bowlers as he returned with 4/59. (Source: Reuters)
Cheteshwar Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha returned unbeaten as the duo added 32-runs for the seventh wicket. Hosts trail by 91-runs with four wickets in hand.
Ajinkya Rahane, who took charge of the Indian team after Virat Kohli injured his right shoulder while fielding on Day 1, provided support to Cheteshwar Pujara as the duo shared a 51-run partnership. Rahane found himself unlucky when the ball hit his gloves and was caught behind the wicket off Pat Cummins.
Virat Kohli, who had missed the entire day two recovering from an shoulder injury, came into bat as Steve O'Keefe had dismissed Murali Vijay in the last over before the Lunch. Kohli managed to score just six runs before he handed a catch to his counterpart Steve Smith at second slip. His poor run of form in the series continued as this was his second lowest score of the series.
India lost the crucial wickets of Karun Nair and Ravichandran Ashwin in the final session.
Josh Hazlewood and spinner Steve O'Keefe had one success each.
Pacer Pat Cummins, making his comeback in Australia Test squad, emerged as the wrecker-in-chief as he took three wickets on Day 3. He first got the danger-man Virat Kohli, followed by Ajinkya Rahane and in the last session he managed to get R Ashwin's wicket.
However just before the Lunch, Steve O'Keefe provided the much needed breakthrough as he got rid of Murali Vijay just before the lunch. Vijay, batting at 82, charged forward to play the ball but misjudged it and the visiting wicketkeeper Matthew Wade was quick enough to dislodge his bails.
Cheteshwar Pujara brought up his 11th Test hundred with a four. Pujara’s ton is the first hundred by an Indian batsman in the on-going series against Australia. He forged a 102-run partnership with Murali Vijay, 32-run stand with skipper Kohli, 51-run partnership with Ajinkya Rahane and a 44-run five-wicket partnership with Karun Nair.