RANCHI, India – Cheteshwar Pujara compiled an epic double century and Wriddhiman Saha hit a career-best 117 to deflate Australia and put India in a strong position on the fourth day of the Third Test on Sunday.
Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja then brightened
Matt Renshaw was batting on seven at stumps with
“Obviously we’ve got to save the game,”
“Once the ball gets a little bit softer it plays pretty well, so there are no real demons in the track.
“It’s a case of obviously applying ourselves, much like Pujara and Saha did today,” he added.
Earlier, Pujara became the first Indian batsman to face 500 deliveries in a Test innings, spending more than 11 hours at the crease for his marathon 202 on the penultimate day of the contest.
Resuming the day with India 91 runs behind Australia’s first innings total of 451, Pujara and Saha frustrated the tourists and batted through the first two sessions to forge a 199-run seventh-wicket partnership.
Both fell in the final session trying to accelerate, with
Pujara faced 525 balls in his tireless knock, capitalising on the exceptionally fast outfield to score 21 boundaries at the Jharkhand State Cricket Association Stadium, which is hosting its first Test.
Pujara was given out lbw to a sharply-turning Nathan Lyon delivery on 157, but he managed to prolong
The 29-year-old took a single off
Saha matched Pujara’s doggedness at the other end after surviving a couple of reviews earlier in the day.
Playing his second Test more than five years after his first,
The batsman immediately reviewed, and replays suggested the ball would have missed the stumps.
Saha also got a reprieve on 51 when his fellow wicket-keeper Matthew Wade spilled an edge.
Saha ducked well under bouncers from Cummins and took a single off Glenn Maxwell to complete his century which brought his teammates in the dressing room to their feet.
Once past his hundred, he too went for quick runs and fell to Steve O’Keefe, who bowled a staggering 77 overs for his three wickets as
Down the order, Jadeja clobbered a couple of sixes in his brisk unbeaten 54 to rub salt into
Home skipper Virat Kohli called his batsmen in as soon as they crossed the 600-run mark, and unleashed his spinners on
“I am very confident our spinners will bowl really well. There is rough, there are cracks...” Pujara told the Star Sports channel.
The four-Test series is tied 1-1, with Dharamsala hosting the final match from Saturday.