Cheteshwar Pujara lays platform, Ravindra Jadeja capitalises to put India on track against Australia in Ranchi

After spending more than seven hours at the crease, Cheteshwar Pujara was a model of true and pure patience

By: Express Web Desk | Updated: March 19, 2017 5:29:55 pm
live cricket score, live cricket, cricket live india, cricket live australia, live cricket updates, india vs australia, ind vs aus, india australia live, india australia live score, ind aus 3rd test live, india australia day 4 live, cheteshwar pujara, india score live, india cricket, india australia streaming, india austrealia live video, cricket news, sports news Cheteshwar Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha forged a 199 run partnership which put India in the drivers seat. (Source: PTI)

The last time Australia bowled 200 plus overs in an innings of a Test match was against South Africa in Durban, 1994. 23 years later it is India who made the Aussies toil hard equally as they batted throughout the day.

When India resumed play on the morning of Day 4 with Cheteshwar Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha in the middle and their stand on 32, India still required 92 runs to secure a first innings lead. Much to the delight of skipper Virat Kohli, the duo maintained their stay at the crease as Pujara reached one milestone after another. He first reached 150 and then went on to slam his third double Test ton. Along with him Saha provided able support at the other end by keeping the scoreboard ticking. As Wriddhiman Saha grew in confidence he too played some extravagant strokes and recorded his third Test century. Together they forged a partnership of 199 and guided India to safety.

With more than seven hours at the crease, Pujara was a model of true and pure patience today. Pujara now has 11 Test centuries and 14 fifties and this is his fifth Test innings of 300+ balls. In terms of deliveries Pujara has now played the longest innings for India and has eclipsed Rahul Dravid (497). Incidentally, Pujara also features in the list of slowest double tons in Tests (balls faced). B Kuruppu (548), Marvan Atapattu (531) and Gary Kirsten (522) are ahead of him.

Soon after, in order to accelerate, Pujara was finally dismissed for 202 as Australia finally managed to get a wicket for 95 overs.

Thereafter, the onus was on the tail-enders to showcase their talent with the bat and they wagged on to add another 62 runs. Most of which was scored by Ravindra Jadeja who brought up his 6th Test fifty and remained unbeaten on 54. As India finally declared their innings for a mammoth 603/9 their lead stretched to 152. It was a comprehensive performance by India on Day 4 India as they piled 243 runs and lost just three wickets. Meanwhile, the Austrlaian bowlers, who had troubled India throughout the series, looked completely lacklustre.

Later on, as expected, it was a searching eight overs for Australia to try and survive before the close of play. But they could not so as Ravindra Jadeja struck in the sixth over to dismiss David Warner. Jadeja struck once more before stumps as he bamboozled nightwatchman Nathan Lyon and left Australia reeling at 23/2. His double strike has now ensured a lot of excitement on the final day.

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