Апреля 21, 2018


Final-day batting challenge awaits battered and bruised Australia

20 Марта 2017, 01:22 | Joan Schultz

Australia coach Darren Lehmann admits the tourists are only concerned with avoiding defeat to India in the third Test after India's Cheteshwar Pujara turned the screws with the bat on day four in Ranchi. On a sedate pitch against the stout bats of Saha and Cheteshwar Pujara, Australia were far from hopeless; the effort was there particularly from Cummins who, despite undoubtedly feeling the strain from the workload, was still able to muster troublesome deliveries seemingly out of nowhere.

He walked back to the pavilion to a standing ovation and a few handshakes from the opposition players. In the second over of the day, Murali Vijay (82) stepped up against Steve O'Keefe (1-117) to score the first six of the innings. It was the longest Test innings by an Indian. Smith, who scored an unbeaten 178 in the first innings, resisted for 68 balls second time around before Jadeja's exploitation of the rough created by the bowlers' footmarks paid off. Maybe I'm in my bed, and this is that dream I have when I eat an entire chunk of Roquefort, including rind, just before bedtime. Even when I defended, I did it in a positive sense and when I played my shots, that was also in a positive sense.

"This is the best among the three (Test hundreds) I have", Saha told reporters.

IST: A fifth day pitch in India and all the talks are about Ravindra Jadeja and not Ravichandran Ashwin. The partnership is now worth 25 runs but the Aussies need these two to convert it into a big one.

If the rest of the order - Matt Wade, Pat Cummins, Steve O'Keefe, and Josh Hazlewood have to bat - the troubles will be dire, forcing all four to raise their batting bar to heights they've never reached before.

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"Hopefully he can put up a good show tomorrow as well", said Vijay.

"But once the ball gets a little bit softer it plays pretty well, so there's no real demons in the track. Feels like a couple of back-to-back one-day internationals. body feels great - can't wait to get back out there today".

The match has undoubtedly been set up by Pujara's (202) marathon vigil which lasted for more than 11 hours (672 minutes). "They've done a lot of practise in those sort of conditions, so I'm really confident they can do the job".

Whereas previously Cummins has been rushed back into a Test preparation, this time he has been playing since October, gradually building his overs through different formats of the game at grade, state and worldwide level.

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