March 18, 2018

India force advantage on 4th day

19 March 2017, 02:26 | Winifred Adams

Pujara, who was involved in a 102-run second-wicket stand with overnight partner Murali Vijay (82), was holding the innings together with his 11th Test century. While India's batsmen struggled to score against the big quick, Pujara himself had no such problems scoring 35 runs off the 50 deliveries he faced from Cummins.

The misery did not end there for the visitors as Jadeja took the wickets of David Warner and nightwatchman Nathan Lyon before the end of play. "If we can get closer to the target and possibly extend the lead from there, I think it's going to be a good game on hand", Vijay told reporters.

Slow-motion replays showed the sound could not have been bat on pad, so it must have been ball on pad.

In the closing moments of the third day, Wriddhiman Saha had struck a useful partnership with centurion Pujara while frustrating the Australian bowlers. "We will see how we go". India were 276 for four at that stage.

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"If they bowl 10 of those so be it", Lehmann said.

Riding high on unbeaten stand between Cheteshwar Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha, the hosts have been solid since the morning session and are now looking to add valuable runs and add pressure on the hosts.

Pujara, who also has two double tons to his name, posted his second 150 in Tests in 391 balls guiding Lyon for a single as the whole Indian team applauded him at the dressing room.

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Cummins, making a return after playing his only Test for Australia in 2011, got crucial breaks including the prized scalp of India skipper Virat Kohli.

This was the type of scenario Australia's brains trust had been dreading when they gambled on the highly talented but injury-prone Cummins.

Cummins, who had claimed the solitary Indian wicket on Day 2, claimed three scalps on Saturday.

Pujara became the first Indian batsman to face 500 balls in a Test innings by surpassing Rahul Dravid's previous best of 495 balls.

Should he pull through, he can not be considered an automatic selection for the fourth Test starting on Saturday due to his long injury history.

They were in full view on an attritional third day in Ranchi on Saturday.

Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja took two wickets in two overs at the fag end of the day to give India a chance to defeat Australia and go 2-1 up in the series.

There was more frustration nearing lunch when Saha, on 51, again had an lbw call overturned.

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