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:
Quality 93 run partnership by Pujara and Rahane ?
Can't wait for Day 4?#INDvsAUS
— Damien Fleming (@bowlologist) March 6, 2017
— J (@i_am_jaypaul) March 6, 2017
First session of the series where no wickets fallen. India back into the game. Double the lead from here for a super contest #INDvsAUS
— Sudhir Kothari (@KothariSudhir) March 6, 2017
It isn't exactly danger knocking on the door yet for Australia but this partnership is making things just a bit worrisome for them.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) March 6, 2017
This is an exceptional innings from Pujara.Test match is about playing out sessions and Rahane&Pujara have kept India in the game.#INDvsAUS
— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) March 6, 2017
— Prathamesh (@rane_from_thane) March 6, 2017
— Sir Rohit Sharma (@imWrong45) March 6, 2017
Sir Jadeja is not used to so much appreciation that he got from his bowling effort. Batted poorly to balance out.#INDvsAUS
— Lame Monk (@oldschoolmonk) March 6, 2017
What a catch from @stevesmith49 huge wicket for the Aussies
— Michael Clarke (@MClarke23) March 6, 2017
That was unfortunate decision to give out for Virat Kohli and there is saying
" Benefit of the doubt should go to batsman "
— Broken Cricket (@BrokenCricket) March 6, 2017
Jadeja is to Virat what Raina was to Dhoni.#INDvsAUS
— PhD in Bakchodi (@Atheist_Krishna) March 6, 2017
I see the Karma bus just arrived in India ??? When you are as arrogant as Kohli then sometimes it goes against you ✔️
— Liam Pickering (@lennyp23) March 6, 2017
Kumblae : U r fired from test captaincy !!!
Kohli : I want to Review it!!!!???#IndvAus
— Silly Point (@sillycric) March 6, 2017
Virat Kohli – We cannot beat Australia in a test match, but I think we can defeat them in ODI
Rahul, Mukund – Understood
— SAGAR (@sagarcasm) March 6, 2017
Saw Ravindra Jadeja bowl all six deliveries of his over exactly on the same spot on the pitch.
— PunK (@punk_hardik) March 6, 2017