Riding on Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara’s solid batting displays, India continued its strong reply to Australia’s mammoth first innings total of 451 in the first session of Day 3 of the Ranchi Test. Steve O’Keefe got rid of Vijay on 82 just at the stroke of lunch. Pujara was unbeaten on 40 while the team’s total read 193/2.
Resuming the day at 120/1, both batsmen began cautiously and barring two close appeals, they looked at ease throughout the opening session. With the pitch providing very little assistance to bowlers, the Aussies did well to keep the batsmen in check with some disciplined bowling. The visitors conceded only 24 runs in the first 16 overs of the day but the Indian batsmen, after successfully negotiating the tough opening hour, began batting comfortably later on.
Meanwhile, the visitors had to pay a hefty price for wasting both their reviews. They wasted one on the second day of the match and lost the remaining one just after drinks (of the first session on Day 3) when Steven Smith reviewed a LBW decision against Pujara. Both pad and bat were very close to each other but replays confirmed there was some bat first definitely and as a result, their review got wasted. Well, the incident led India skipper Virat Kohli to react in an unusual manner. As soon as he saw the review getting wasted, he came out of the dressing room and began clapping.
Here is a clip of that incident:
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@cricketfreak07) March 18, 2017
In the very next over, Australia were made to pay for wasting their reviews as Vijay remained on the pitch even after edging the ball to the short-leg fielder. The umpire gave his decision in the favour of the batsman but replays showed his decision was wrong. However, Australia could do little as they had no reviews left.
But Murali Vijay undid all the good work by losing his wicket at the stroke of lunch. Looking to play a big shot against Steve O’Keefe , the right-handed batsman stepped out of his crease but missed the ball completely and Mathew Wade made no mistake in taking the bails off in a flash.