ibusinesslines.com March 23, 2017

Centurion Pujara stands tall as India get closer to Aussie total

20 March 2017, 09:53 | Charlene Valdez

IndvsAus, Ranchi Test, Day 3: India to resume their first innings at 120/1

Live Cricket Score India vs Australia 3rd Test Day 3 – Hosts fight back after Steve Smith's unbeaten 178 had put Aussies in charge

Handscomb also showcased expertise against the turning ball during his unbeaten 72 from 200 balls.

It took Pujara an Indian-record 525 deliveries, eclipsing legend Rahul Dravid's 495 for his 270 against Pakistan at Rawalpindi in 2004. Not being able to take the field [due to injury] was never easy for me and then watching the opposition get big runs was hard.

At the end of the day, India were at 360/6 in 130 overs.

All eyes will be on injury-prone express paceman Pat Cummins, who delivered 39 overs in his first Test since a memorable debut in 2011.

Matt Renshaw will restart on seven not out, with captain Steve Smith due to join him.

Given absolutely no chance, with many predicting a 4-0 whitewash in India's favour, Australia won the Pune Test, before giving India a really hard match in Bengaluru and then pulling off a stunning draw in Ranchi.

Marsh, who had made a modest contribution of just 93 runs in his five previous innings in the series, did enough to ensure even the loss of Glenn Maxwell (2) three overs later didn't throw the Australians too far off course. On day five, [the] wicket slows down anyway. Irked, Sharma brought in a bat-pad, making Renshaw think he would bowl a bouncer. Batting out time was key to forcing a draw here and they did exactly that by consuming 232 minutes.

O'Keefe finally made the breakthrough the ball before the lunch break, tempting Vijay to wander down the pitch before missing a straight ball to allow Matthew Wade to smartly whip off the bails. But Smith said Australia would go into next weekend's series finale in Dharamsala full of confidence.

The match was turned firmly in India's favour by a 199-run partnership between Cheteshwar Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha.

Left-arm spinner Jadeja relentlessly attacked the rough outside Renshaw's off-stump, while Ishant Sharma bowled to Smith with a seven-two off-side field. This, despite Australia posting a mammoth 451 in their first innings.

Vijay completed his 50 in 129 balls hitting four boundaries and a six, while Pujara began moving ahead with ones and twos.

On man of the match Pujara, who registered his third Test double century, Kohli said: "He is the most composed player in the team. someone like that is priceless to have him in the team".

Kohli said after the draw was sealed: "We got ourselves into a very good position".

Australia's captain Steven Smith walks off the field after his dismissal. His footwork against Lyon and Steve O'Keefe was exemplary.

Smith used up 68 deliveries while scoring his 21 runs while Renshaw scored 15 runs off 84 balls.

Australia have passed a searching examination of their mettle by overcoming India's spin masters on Ranchi's so-called craters of doom to secure a backs-to-the-wall draw in the third Test.

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