An unbeaten partnership of 94 runs between Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane have put India firmly in the driver’s seat in the Bengaluru Test as the hosts have taken a lead of 126 runs. India were 213 for 4 in their second innings when the stumps were called on the third day.

Trailing Australia’s first innings total by 87 runs, Indian openers KL Rahul and Abhinav Mukund made a cautious start to steer the hosts to 38 for no loss at lunch break. However, Josh Hazlewood removed Mukund in the very first over after lunch to push India on the back-foot. A 45-run partnership between Pujara and Rahul calmed down the nerves for a bit before Steve Smith took a stunning catch to end Rahul’s 51-run knock. Hazlewood then struck twice in quick succession to leave India reeling at 120 for 4. The right-arm pacer first trapped India skipper Virat Kohli with a delivery that kept low before cleaning up Ravindra Jadeja with a gem of a delivery. But Pujara and Jadeja took India out of trouble with a brilliant partnership of  runs for the fifth wicket. Pujara was unbeaten on 79 while Rahane was playing on 41 when the day ended.

Earlier, resuming the day on 237 for 6, Mitchell Starc and Matthew Wade began in fine fashion, adding 32 runs in no time before Starc was dismissed by Ravichandran Ashwin. Starc’s dismissal opened the floodgates as the visitors lost their remaining three wickets for only 10 runs.

Here is how Twitter reacted to the day’s play:

 

https://twitter.com/The_Bapu7/status/838619320594882560

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    An avid sports lover, i always wanted to pursue a career in football. But just like the millions out there i did not put in the hard work needed to achieve my dream and now i have become a fan instead of the player. Anyway, writing for sports has kept me closer to this field. One more thing, yours sincerely is a die-hard Liverpool fan. You will never walk alone.

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