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IndvsAus, Third Test Day 4 Review: Pujara, Saha, Jadeja choke Australia

Pujara scored his third double while Saha scored his third Test ton.

By Anshuman Roy -

Ravindra Jadeja continued to hurt Australia as he claimed 2 quick wickets in second innings, after hammering an unbeaten 54 to help India finish on a high. At the end of the fourth day’s play, Australia were reeling at 23 for 2 with Jadeja cleaning up both David Warner and nightwatchman Nathan Lyon, leaving the visitors another 129 runs to score and make India bat again. On the back of Jadeja’s all-round effort and a monumental effort by Cheteshwar Pujara (202) and Wriddhiman Saha (117), India have made a splendid progress in this Test. Heading into the final day, on a wicket which promises a lot of assistance to their spin bowlers, India will eye nothing less than a victory by an innings.

After Australia took the early advantage of scoring 451 in their first innings, India continued with their trend of replying with bigger scores. With about half-an-hour left in the day’s play, India declared at 603 for 9 with a lead of 152 runs. Pujara scored a monumental 525-ball 202 and Saha cracked 117, as India fixated themselves in the driver’s seat. India made Australia bowl as many as 210 overs in their first innings, which began in the second session on Day Two. Pujara was at the focal point in their effort, coming out to bat in the final session on Day Two, and was dismissed only in the last session of the fourth day.

Pujara and Saha were also involved in a huge partnership for the seventh wicket which was of 199 runs  the highest stand for India against Australia for the seventh wicket.

India’s marathon effort had Australia taking as many as three new balls to bowl 210 overs, which is now their longest in Test cricket against Australia.

The hosts thus had a field day on Sunday, taking giant strides to force a result on the game which is being played on a batting-friendly wicket at Ranchi.

At stumps, Matt Renshaw was unbeaten on 7, having survived for 21 balls with 1 boundary as the Indian spin duo of Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin looked to make early inroads in the Australian ranks. Warner started off nervously, and attack seemed to be his best approach against Ashwin. Warner hit two boundaries off the first over from Ashwin and one off the next, but he fell to Jadeja.

A delivery from Jadeja pitched on the rough outside off and spun back in to breach Warner’s defense, shattering his off and middle stumps in the process. Warner, who has had a torrid time this series, walked off amid an animated celebration from Kohli who patted his injured shoulder and then winced in pain after a few seconds of frenzy.

Australia sent in Nathan Lyon, who had earlier bowled 46 overs for a just one wicket, as a nightwatchman but he was cleaned up by Jadeja on what turned out to be the final ball of the day.

Australia, who were kept on the field for more than two days, now face the mountainous challenge of batting for one full day on a wicket where the Indian spinners are set to have a dominating time. Australia trail by another 129 runs before they can make India bat again, and have 8 wickets in hand.

Brief scores:

Australia 451 & 23 for 2 (David Warner 14; Ravindra Jadeja 2 for 6) lead India 603 for 9 decl. (Murali Vijay 82, KL Rahul 67, Cheteshwar Pujara 202, Wriddhiman Saha 117, Ravindra Jadeja 54*; Pat Cummins 4 for 106) by 129 runs.

Anshuman Roy

Someone for whom Cricket is more than just a game.