Cheteshwar Pujara was the only man who weathered the storm as Pat Cummins terrorised the Indian batting line up
Cheteshwar Pujara was the star of the day for India but his team mates struggled to cope with Pat Cummins on Day 3 of the third Test between India and Australia. Playing his first Test in more than five years, Cummins bowled 25 overs in which he took four wickets.
He was the man who gave Australia the breakthrough on Day 2 when he dismissed the brilliant KL Rahul for 67. His scalps on Day 3 include Indian captain Virat Kohli and his deputy Ajinkya Rahane. He also bowled an almost unplayable short delivery to dismiss Ravichandran Ashwin. Josh Hazlewood took the wicket of Karun Nair while Steve O’Keefe dismissed Rahul’s opening partner Murali Vijay.
After Vijay and Pujara put India in a good position following another century partnership, India lost Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane in quick succession. None of the other batsmen managed to get going barring the Saurashtra batsman who is unbeaten on 130 as India ended day three on 360/6.
Smith and co. did not hold themselves back on the field either. When Kohli was in the middle, Glenn Maxwell mocked his injury by putting his hand to his shoulder after saving a boundary. Ashwin’s dismissal was one that could have been confirmed only with the help of technology and so the he did look a bit frustrated as he walked off. As he did so, the Australian team sarcastically applauded the ace Indian spinner.
Here are a few reactions came after the end of the day:
Pujara's class keeps India alive on a day when Australia showed their class with the ball. Was a drip-drip day but they managed it well
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) March 18, 2017
Cheteshwar Pujara, though, weathered the storm with aplomb. He went after the bad deliveries and batted out the ones of Cummins and Hazlewood. His calm demeanor was something that the opposition could not penetrate and he ends Day 3 with 130 runs on board. He was congratulated by a few Australians as the teams made their way to the dressing room. Australia, were led out by Cummins.
Some interesting statistical highlights from day three of the Ranchi Test:
1 – Cheteshwar Pujara became the first batsman in Test history to score a century in the maiden Test of four venues (Indore, Rajkot, Vizag and Ranchi). Seven players have done it at three venues but Pujara is the first to do it at four.
2 – Pujara is currently in second place as far as most runs in the 2016/17 season is concerned. Only Virat Kohli (1,252 runs) has scored more than Pujara’s 1,187 runs.
3 – Ravichandran Ashwin has been dismissed for single-digit scores in five consecutive innings in this series. His run of scores, which read 1,8,7, 4 and 3 is the first he has been dismissed in single digits in five consecutive innings.
4 – Vijay and Pujara have six century partnerships in the 2016/17 season, which is the second-most by any pair in a season. Only Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting (7 in 2005/06) have more century partnerships in a season.
7 – Pujara has seven first-class centuries in this Indian first-class season. He equals Pataudi and Gavaskar who also made seven in an Indian first-class season.
2010 – India’s top three (KL Rahul, Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara) all scored fifty in the same innings. The last time this happened in a Test was against New Zealand in Nagpur in 2010.
At the end of the day, India still trail Australia by 91 runs with four wickets remaining at the end of Day 3. Cheteshwar Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha will be the overnight batsmen walking out on Day 4.