Chasing Australia’s mammoth total of 451 in the first innings, team India played well today reaching 360 for 6 at stumps on day 3. However, barring the top three batsmen of India’s innings, rest of the batsmen struggled throughout day 3.
Stylish right handed Cheteshwar Pujara (130) was definitely the hero of Day 3. His unbeaten innings consisted of some vibrant shots across the field without losing his own cool and focus. His ton certainly took India above 350-run mark on day 3 with India still need 91 more runs to equate Australia’s total in the first innings.
India started off cautiously today in the morning with the unbeaten duo of Pujara and Vijay. The duo added a vital 102-run partnership on Day 3 offering a solid foundation to India’s middle order. However, having negotiated the first session carefully, Murali Vijay 82 (183b, 4s x 10, 6s x 1) wanted to hit O’Keefe down the ground at a ball pitched outside the leg-stump just at the time of lunch. But completely missed that one as the ball went past behind the keeper and Wade made no mistake removing the bails. It was Vijay’s 15th test fifty but he missed converting the same to three-figure mark.
India lost their second wicket at 193 for 2. Rest of the middle order also didn’t do anything special. They came and went back to pavilion within a few balls gap. India’s middle order was completely destroyed by Pat Cummin’s excellent bowling. However, Pujara’s patience and meticulous defense easily thwarted Cummin’s threat.
Kohli’s entry into the ground was a big respite for the team and fans. They went frenzied seeing him walking onto the field after Vijay’s dismissal. A loud cheer of Kohli..Kohli was everywhere around. It also confirmed that Kohli’s injury wasn’t serious and he would bat in the rest of the series too. But India’s skipper Kohli (6) didn’t last long as he edged a simple catch to Steve Smith off Pat Cummins at 80.4 overs.
Meanwhile, fast bowler Pat Cummins created mayhem on the field with his bounce and pace. He dismantled India’s batting line up completely picking up four crucial wickets including the prized wicket of Kohli and Lokesh Rahul as well. Cummin’s (25-8-59-4) spell was absolutely breathtaking as he kept giving important breakthrough to his team at regular intervals.
After the dismissal of Kohli, the next three batsmen Rahane (14), Nair (23) and Ashwin (3) also went out without adding much to the scorecard. Soon, India looked in deep trouble with scoreboard came down to 328 for 6, but some sensible batting by number 8 Wriddhiman Saha (18*) down the order helped India reach 360 without any further trouble. At stumps, Pujara 130* (328b, 4s x 17) and Saha 14* remained unbeaten at their respective scores.
Australia: 451/10 (Maxwell 104, Smith 178; Jadeja 5 for 124)
India: 360/6 (Pujara 130*, Vijay 82; Cummins 4 for 59)