Ranchi will test the mettle of Australia's batting
- Author: Julie Sanders Mar 20, 2017,
Mar 20, 2017, 9:24
The team will be banking on Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay to build a big partnership as India look to get closer to Australia's 451-run total on Day 3 of the Ranchi Test on Saturday.
It's one of the oldest comebacks in sport but quite often it's the best, and it's the one star India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara used to blunt Australia quick Josh Hazlewood, according to teammate Wriddhiman Saha.
Momentum in this hard-fought series is now firmly with India, who have not only given themselves a show of winning here, but they have made a significant downpayment for the final test by running Australia's attack into the ground.
Unlike India skipper Virat Kohli, both Pujara and Saha are subdued characters and they just asked Hazlewood to focus on his bowling and check the runs on the scoreboard and speaking to the media at the end of the day's play, Saha said that it was enough to shut Hazlewood.
India added 62 following Saha's exit and Australia made a shaky start to their second innings.
Given eight overs to survive against R. Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja with a suddenly fizzing and biting new ball, Matthew Renshaw looked shaky but it was David Warner who fell, inside-edging Jadeja onto his stumps.
At present, the four-test match series is level at one-one.
Meanwhile, Indian lower order also smashed Australian bowlers.
Jadeja came in at number nine and played a useful cameo, putting on 54 for the ninth wicket with Umesh Yadav (16).
Wicket-keeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha came next when India were 328/6.
Throughout his marathon stay at the crease, Pujara was involved in all six partnerships barring the opening stand of 91 runs between K.L. Rahul and Murali Vijay.
"They've got to believe in what they are doing as a group and a couple of good balls like tonight that can happen in a game of cricket".
Cummins prised out key wickets of Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane (14) en route to his 3/49 as Indians threw their wickets cheaply on a flat track of JSCA International Stadium Complex hosting its maiden Test.
The runs were coming at a very slow rate and Pujara recorded his fifth score of 150+. He mostly tried to defend facing Cummins and O'Keefe. Pujara brought up his 150 with a single off Nathan Lyon while Saha reached his 50 with a single off Steve O' Keefe. I'm backing myself more now.