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Australia struggling at lunch on day five against India

20 March 2017, 09:06 | Joan Schultz

Australia struggling at lunch on day five against India

Virat Kohli skips batting at nets Shreyas Iyer called as cover

Otherwise they were chanceless, Handscomb finishing unbeaten after keeping out 200 balls in all. Australian dressing room would be extremely proud with the way their batsman fought on the final day.

The Australians found themselves at a rather precarious 63/4 in a gripping end to the first session on the fifth and final day.

After Handscomb, it was Marsh's turn to bring up his fifty. It was important to score big first-innings runs, we left ourselves a bit short there. The loop, flight and drift that he was getting against New Zealand and England isn't as prevalent anymore - it wasn't there against Bangladesh and hasn't been there in this Test series so far either. Tremendous knock under pressure.

It feels very much like Australian cricket is set to enter a renaissance but this steely team is unlikely to lose concentration just yet.

What a magnificent partnership this has been for Australia. "I haven't really thought about it". A lot of credit goes to him also. The two have played 14 over since the dismissal of Smith. But a wicketless afternoon session scuppered their hopes. The positive for Australia was that Smith was not the one who had to stand up. Australia were 6-204, leading by 52, when the match was called off with two overs left.

Smith was also guilty of not shuffling his bowlers.

# Hazlewood bowls a brilliant over as only one run comes from it.

With Pujara resuming his batting, a frustrated Steve Smith could just offer a chuckle and walked back to his position. He's always stood up when the team needs him and this game was no different.

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The skipper was dismissed an over after opener Matt Renshaw fell in the morning session and India had looked like they would skewer the Baggy Green middle order and put the series beyond the visitors.

Ranchi: Australia were 23-2 in their second innings at stumps after India declared their first essay at 603-9 on the fourth day of the third cricket Test here on Sunday.

With a substantial lead of 152 in their kitty, India chose to declare the innings.

Pujara scored 202, spent over 11 hours at the crease and faced a record-breaking 525 deliveries. The India medical staff will do everything in their powers to get the captain fit and ready for the final Test match, and India desperately need their skipper to be in the right frame of mind, in all facets, in Dharamsala.

Steve Smith's unbeaten 178 and a maiden Test century for Glenn Maxwell boosted Australia to a competitive total but India responded well in Ranchi.

Vijay completed his 50 in 129 balls hitting four boundaries and a six, while Pujara began moving ahead with ones and twos. The number of overs bowled by O'Keefe is highest by an overseas bowler on Indian soil.

All eyes will be on injury-prone express paceman Pat Cummins, who delivered 39 overs in his first Test since a memorable debut in 2011.

But Nathan Lyon (1/163 in 46 overs) was a disappointment once again.



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