At stumps on Day two of the ongoing third Test at Ranchi, India fought back with the bat and is in a comfortable position while putting 120 on board for the loss of one wicket in 40 overs in response to Australia’s first innings total of 451 runs.

Hosts’ batsmen put on a good show while bringing much to the table in the third and final session of the day as they trail by 331 runs.

On the other side, Murali Vijay played a controlled knock to score unbeaten 42 off 112 and Cheteshwar Pujara is not out on 10 off 26 balls.

While coming to bat Indian openers in the form of KL Rahul and Vijay has shown the great application and grit to build the innings for the hosts as they put on the 91-run partnership for the first wicket – to frustrate the Australian bowling line-up as the runs kept on flowing.

India crossed the triple figure mark (hundred) when Vijay swept the ball of off-spinner Nathan Lyon for a boundary in the 33rd over of India’s innings.

In the 32nd over, KL Rahul gloved the ball of Pat Cummins which took off from the ground – to see himself getting out on 67 off 102 balls which included nine fours. Rahul has failed to convert the starts into triple figure mark as he has already scored 64, 90, 51 and 67 so far in the series.

Earlier at Lunch, Australia was 401 for seven before left-arm orthodox spinner chipped in with crucial 25 runs off 71 balls further to set partnership of 51 for the 8th wicket. O’Keefe was caught by Murali Vijay on the bowling of Umesh Yadav.

Nathan Lyon was removed on 1 off six followed by Josh Hazlewood, who was run out on nought off 2 balls during the post-lunch session.

The morning session started with the bat broken into two of Glen Maxwell when Umesh Yadav was bowling, but the steadfast character shown by Maxwell was a worth to watch who is seen as the hard-hitting sensation in the shorter version of the game.

In the absence of injured Virat Kohli, Jadeja lifted his team by picking four wickets on the day two when stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane rotated the bowlers which yielded results in between on a pitch which seemed to lot on an offer the batsmen as well.

Adding much to the relief, Kohli’s injury has been stated as external, revealed the overnight scans and he will bat in the ongoing Test. On Thursday, Kohli picked his injury on the very first day of the Ranchi Test, when he sprinted to stop a ball in the deep.

In his 41st over, the left-arm spinner claimed two wickets in the span of three balls when he sent back wicket-keeper batsman Matthew Wade (37 off 50 balls) and fast bowler Pat Cummins on nought off 2 balls.

After starting from the overnight score of 299 for four, it was Glenn Maxwell show, who made his Test return after two years struck his maiden Test century to prove his critics wrong by setting ongoing series-high partnership of 191 alongside skipper Steven Smith.

Smith astutely kept the scoreboard ticking as he ran out of partners to see his side posting the total of 451 runs in 137.3 overs which was also the highest innings score so far in the ongoing four-match series.

Australian skipper Steven Smith started his day with the mark of 117 runs while batting confidently. Smith remained unbeaten on 178 off 361 balls before spending 512 minutes at the crease who further showed his resilient effort for lifting the side which lost the Bengaluru Test in a dramatic fashion.

Soon after opting for a cut short, Maxwell celebrated his maiden hundred by kissing the badge on his helmet before running for a traditional hug with his batting partner Smith, who looked delighted for the latter.

The 28-year-old Maxwell, who is known for his exploits, had put in a heroic effort to become the second Australian to notch a century across all three formats after all-rounder Shane Watson.

Interestingly, Maxwell faced 185 balls to spent four-odd hours on the crease. He was eventually caught on 104 by wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha on the bowling of Ravindra Jadeja. Maxwell’s sublime knock was laced with two sixes and nine boundaries.

Brief Scores: Australia 1st Innings – 451 all out

Steven Smith 178* off 361 balls; Glenn Maxwell 104 off 185 balls

Ravindra Jadeja five for 124 in 49.3 overs

India 1st Innings – 120 for one

KL Rahul 67 off 102 balls; Murali Vijay 42 off 112 balls.

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