India made a confident start in the first innings of the third test against Australia on Friday, reaching 120-1 by the close of the second day after Australia was dismissed for 451 thanks to a big unbeaten century from skipper Steve Smith and a maiden test hundred from Glenn Maxwell.
Lokesh Rahul scored his fourth half-century of this series as India finished the day still 331 behind.
At the end of play, opener Murali Vijay was unbeaten on 42, while Cheteshwar Pujara was 10 not out.
After tea, Rahul, with 67, and Vijay took their opening stand to 91 runs. It was their highest partnership in ten innings together.
Rahul reached his fifth test half-century off 69 balls, and was the aggressor in the opening stand. He hit nine fours and faced 102 balls.
Vijay dug in for the long haul from the very beginning and faced 112 deliveries
Pat Cummins dismissed Rahul with a sharp bouncer in the 32nd over. The batsman had nowhere to go against a quick and rising delivery, and it nicked his glove on its way to the wicketkeeper.
Pujara and Vijay then added 29 for the second wicket, and never looked in any particular bother.
Earlier, Glenn Maxwell (104) scored his maiden test hundred and extended his fifth-wicket partnership with Smith to 191 runs. Smith also added 64 with Mathew Wade (37) as the visitors notched up a challenging first-innings’ total.
Australia were bowled out for 451 in their first innings with Steve Smith scoring an unbeaten 178. He batted for a mammoth 512 minutes, facing 361 deliveries, and hit 17 fours.
Smith had struck his 18th test hundred on day one, and rescued the visitors from 140-4 after they won the toss and opted to bat.
Australia won the series-opener at Pune by 333 runs, and India leveled with a 75-run win in Bangalore. In both matches, the pitch has played a significant role in the outcome.