India take control of third Test in Ranchi

Riding high on unbeaten stand between Cheteshwar Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha, the hosts have been solid since the morning session and are now looking to add valuable runs and add pressure on the hosts.

Australia took the new ball after lunch with Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins bowling in tandem but Pujara and Saha's patient approach on an eased-out wicket continued to elude them the breakthrough.

As far as Australia is concerned, Pat Cummins has bowled with unnerving pace and tenacity to settle the Indian batsmen and only Pujara has been able to counter his successfully.

Of course, out of reviews, Smith, Lyon and the Australian fielders had to cop the decision on the chin and carry on plugging away at an impressive 102-run partnership between Vijay and Pujara. Pujara, who stayed at the batting crease for 665 minutes, charged down the pitch against the spinners not allowing them to exploit the rough and played with a straight bat against the pacers. India have a healthy lead of 129 heading into the final day's play.

Pujara was ably supported by Saha who once again showed why he is considered the number one wicket-keeper in India in the longest format of the game.

India had wrested the initiative on the second day of the Test as they restricted Australia to a score of 451 runs.

Vijay, who danced down the track to a Steven O'Keefe delivery, only to miss it and get stumped, departed for a well made 82 runs. "To produce some of the balls that he produced to get wickets was exciting", said Australia's assistant coach David Saker.

Already frustrated by a lack of penetration against stubborn and strong defence by India's batsmen, the Aussies must have been ready to explode just one ball later.

India, whose innings run-rate is less than three per over, managed to score only 57 runs in the 31 overs bowled in the final session and lost two wickets.

The duo nearly saw through the first session before Vijay was tempted by Steeve O'Keefe to step out of the crease to be stumped at the stroke of lunch.

(S.P.D. Smith 178 not out, G.J. Maxwell 104, M.T. Renshaw 44; R.A. Jadeja 5-124, U.T. Yadav 3-106).

With the series on the line and captain Virat Kohli injured and off the boil, Pujara summoned up one of the best of his 11 Test hundreds to keep India in the match. His footwork against Lyon and O' Keefe was exemplary.



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