A spirited Cheteshwar Pujara century kept India in the contest after Patrick Cummins grabbed four wickets on Day 3 of the ongoing Test match between India and Australia. The hosts finished at 6-360, trailing by 91 runs. Follow all the action of Day 4 from 3pm (AEDT) here on The Roar.
India had resumed the day at 1-121 with Pujara and Murali Vijay at the center. The two put up 102 runs on the board for the second wicket before Vijay was dismissed by Steve O’Keefe.
The opener, who was batting on 82 runs at the time, felt like taking O’Keefe on by stepping out of his crease to hit one over the bowler’s head. However, he missed and Matthew Wade made no mistakes behind the wickets.
It was a welcome break for Australia who had been unsuccessful in a close lbw appeal against Pujara off O’Keefe and were unable to review a decision against Vijay who appeared to have edged one off Nathan Lyon on to his pads before being caught at short-leg.
However, Australia’s persistence paid off as the Indian middle-order failed to deal with the pace of Pat Cummins.
Cummins, who had claimed the solitary Indian wicket on Day 2, claimed three scalps on Saturday. His first wicket of the day came when skipper Virat Kohli edged one to his opposite number in the slip cordon.
Soon afterwards, Ajinkya Rahane had a lapse of concentration and was caught behind by Wade.
Josh Hazlewood castled Karun Nair for 23 runs after the number six had started to look good in the middle before Cummins dismissed Ravichandran Ashwin for three runs.
At the other end however, Pujara remained unbeaten on 130 runs having faced a mammoth 328 deliveries during his stay at the center. The Saurashtra batsman’s talents came to the fore on Saturday as he picked on the Aussies at will in the first session and the first half of the post-lunch session before shutting shop when wickets started to tumble.
Pujara’s presence has proved to be a big deterrence for the Aussies who will be looking to get through the rest of the Indian batting order as soon as possible on the fourth day.
The pitch has already shown signs of breaking up for the spinners and the visitors will look to get some runs on the board and put the hosts in to bat on the final day.
India will hope that Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha are able to take them as close to Australia’s first innings total on Sunday morning if not help them take a first innings lead.
In Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, India have a couple of quality spinners who can tilt the balance of the contest in their favour.
Follow the live scores and blog of the fourth day of this third Test between India and Australia from 3pm (AEDT) here on The Roar.