India vs Australia, 3rd Test Match, Day 3 at Ranchi: Pujara's hundred helps India stay in the game!

Australia are back into the game as they have slowed down the flow of runs and taking wickets from one end despite Pujara holding his ground

The Day 3 was like a pendulum, oscillating between the two teams session after session. But it was Cheteshwar Pujara because of whom India reached 360 for 6 at the end of day’s play. Pujara’s 11th Test ton came at a time when the team needed the most, wickets fell at the other end, runs were hard to come by after Murali Vijay got out after scoring 82 runs at the stroke of lunch break. India still trail by 91 runs with Wriddhiman Saha on the other end.

Virat Kohli’s much talked about return to the field after an injury he suffered on Day 1 of the Test ended in a disappointing manner as he got out early. However, it was O’Keefe who got the first wicket of the day but Cummins was the one who got Indians under pressure. He took the wicket of Kohli followed by Rahane’s as he tried to play a uppercut. But, Pujara held onto one end keeping Australians at bay.

Josh Hazlewood too got the better of Karun Nair. Hazlewood got the wicket after a few trash talks between him and Nair. He uprooted the off stump as Nair stood stump in his stance with the ball going through the gap.

16:45 IST Day 1, Stumps

16:45 IST Josh Hazlewood continues, this might be the last over for the day, Saha on strike, he comes forward and defends it, no run. Saha drives this one pitched fuller but finds the mid-off fielder, no run. A shorter delivery from Hazlewood, goes into Wade’s hands as Saha ducks, the fast bowler has some words of wisdom for the batsman (pun intended).

Saha plays the next one towards mid-wicket, no run. He blocks the next one on front foot, no run. Last ball of the day? Saha defends it well, no run. End of Day 3, the third Test is still poised nicely between the two teams.

16:40 IST O’Keefe continues, Saha on strike, he plays that fine going down on one knee and gets a boundary, plays that one with perfection. He defends the next one, no run. He lets the next one go into Wade’s hands, no run, shoulders arms. He takes a single off the next ball, Pujara on strike, he comes forward and plays it with a straight bat. He plays with the pads, no run.

16:37 IST Hazlewood continues, Pujara on strike. He plays that one towards off side, no run. Pujara does well on that occasion dabbing it towards onside, no run. Whoa! Pujara was surprised by the lack of bounce there, he expected a short ball and ducked it. Next ball, he defends that one in his typical fashion. He shuffles across the stumps and guides the ball towards fine leg for a single. Saha on strike, he manages to play it towards point, takes a single.

16:32 IST O’Keefe continues, Saha on strike, he pushes the ball towards long-off, takes a single. Pujara on strike, O’Keefe comes round the wicket, he takes a single. Saha on strike, he plays out the three deliveries defending with bat and pads, just 2 runs off the over.

16:28 IST Hazlewood continues, Saha on strike, he takes a single towards third man, no run. He drives the ball to mid-off, no run. He finds the gap on this occasion and takes a single as the ball goes past mid-wicket. Pujara takes a single towards backward square leg. Saha on strike, he pushes it towards mid-off, no run. Last ball of the over, finds the gap, takes a single towards point.

16:23 IST O’Keefe continues, Pujara on strike, he plays the first one towards mid-on. Turn and bounce on the next ball for O’Keefe, beats Pujara. Two more dot deliveries there, no runs scored. He plays the next one towards mid-off as O’Keefe comes over the wicket, no run. One more dot delivery to end the over, a maiden for him.

16:20 IST Hazlewood continues, Pujara on strike, he plays it towards off side, no run. He lets the next one go into Wade’s gloves, no run. Pujara drives the ball towards point and takes a single, Saha on strike. An inswinger to Saha’s ribs, no run as he could not get bat on that. He drives it towards covers, no run. A short ball there, Saha ducks it, just a single from the over.

16:15 IST O’Keefe continues, Saha on strike, he comes forward and defends it, no run. He takes a single off the next ball towards long-off. Pujara comes forward and watches the ball closely going into Wade’s hands. He drives the next one towards covers, no run. A dot delivery followed by a single towards mid-wicket.

16:12 IST Hazlewood is back into the attack, Pujara on strike, he shoulders arms on that one. Another one goes to the wicketkeeper as Pujara watches it go into Wade’s hands closely. Another one left alone, that one did not have pace in it, did not carry to wicketkeeper. Is this a trick from Pujara, fourth one left alone. He hits the ball with the bat finally, drives towards midoff, no run. He plays the next one towards point, no run, a maiden over for Hazlewood.

16:08 IST O’Keefe continues, Saha on strike, he shimmies down the wicket and hits it over mid-on for a boundary. The last few overs has recorded a few boundaries after a while. He blocks the next two deliveries on front foot with bat and pad together. Another one played towards off side, no run. He lets that one go into Wade’s gloves, shoulders arms.

16:05 IST Cummins continues, Pujara on strike, a fuller delivery for him, no run as he could not time it well. A gentle push towards off side, no run. Another inswinger from Cummins, played towards mid-wicket, no run. FOUR! Another one going deep into the crease and generating power from the hop, wonderful shot from him. A couple of runs after it as Pujara guides it towards backward point. Pujara on strike, fuller delivery mistimed to covers, no run.

16:00 IST O’Keefe continues, Saha on strike, he plays that one with caution, no run. Saha sweeps that one hard, gets a boundary, well placed. Turn and bounce on that occasion, Saha guides it towards point, no run. He plays the next one towards covers, no run. Saha comes forward and blocks that one, no run. Another defensive block from him, 4 runs from the over.

15:56 IST Cummins continues, Saha plays that one with caution, no run. A back of the length delivery to Saha, he was surprised by that one, no run. That one was pitched way off the off side, Saha watches it closely go into Wade’s gloves. A misdirected shot delivery from Cummins, even Wade could not catch hold of that, a bye run conceded. Pujara on strike, another short delivery, he lets it go to Wade, no run. He lets that one go, did not want to hit that one.

15:51 IST O’Keefe to Pujara, another padded shot from him, no run. He uses his pads again, no run. This time it was closer to the stumps, Pujara plays it with the pads again, no run. A forward block from Pujara, no run. Another one blocked by Pujara on front foot. He tries to make room but hits the ball towards mid-off fielder, no run. Another maiden from O’Keefe.

15:49 IST India in trouble now. Ashwin got surprised by that delivery and could not decide whether to drop his wrists or not, ends up edging it to Wade. First successful review from Smith in the third Test. Wriddhiman Saha comes into bat, he plays three dot deliveries. Meanwhile, Pujara is running out of partners.

15:46 IST WICKET! Ravinchandran Ashwin c Mathew Wade b Pat Cummins 3(22)

15:45 IST Cummins is bowling inswingers to Ashwin, a hit of reverse swing for him. Ashwin plays the first one back to the bowler, no run. Another one defended by Ashwin, that one was pitched fuller outside the line of off stump. A push from Ashwin on the next ball, the ball bounces on Maxwell’s hands, he takes a couple of runs. Huge appeal for caught behind, the Umpire remains unmoved. Cummins has asked to review that one.

15:42 IST O’Keefe continues, he is bowling a lot more to stumps, Pujara continues to defend and using his pads to play the ball pitched outside the leg stump. Another maiden for O’Keefe. Indian batsmen having trouble to score runs.

15:39 IST Cummins continues, Ashwin drives, superb fielding from Maxwell as he stops the ball and saves a certain couple of runs. Maxwell is known for his agility on the field. He pushes the next one towards short covers, no run. Another one pushed towards off side, no run. Short delivery from Cummins, Ashwin plays it towards short leg, no run.

Inswinger from Cummins, takes an inside edge and the ball is in the air. Cummins flies in the air but could not catch, brilliant effort from him but could not get his hands on that one. LBW shout! the Umpires remains unmoved, another maiden from Cummins.

Drinks Break! 

15:30 IST O’Keefe continues with a different field, Pujara pads that one, no run. Another one played with pads, no run. One more dot delivery, runs are hard to come by. Wait, FOUR! I seem to have some telepathy connection with Pujara, he steps down and flicks the ball towards mid-wicket boundary. Two more dot deliveries to end the over, no runs scored.

15:27 IST Cummins continues, Ashwin gets the ball in the middle of the bat and drives it towards mid-on, no run. Another inside edge, Ashwin is having trouble against the fast bowlers. Next one was on the stumps, he plays that with a straight bat, no run. Short ball, Ashwin manages to keep it down, no run. Another inswinging delivery kept out, no run. He plays the last ball towards covers, no run. A maiden from Cummins.

15:22 IST O’Keefe is still bowling the same line over and over again. Pujara blocks it, no run. He uses his pads next time, no run. Too cheeky, Pujara again uses his left leg to keep that one out, no run. Another one padded by him, no run. This time he uses bat and pushes the ball twoards mid-wicket, no run. Another padded shot from Pujara, a maiden from O’Keefe.

15:20 IST Pat Cummins into the attack, Ashwin takes a single towards point on that one, no run. Pujara on strike, he defends that one on the offside, no run. A cover drive from Pujara, takes a single as the fielder catches hold of it on the edge of the circle. Another inswinging delivery, Ashwin plays it with a straight bat, no run. Ashwin drives but the ball takes an inside edge, goes to the mid-on fielder, no run. Another dot ball to end the over.

15:16 IST O’Keefe continues, Pujara plays it with pads. Another padded shot from Pujara, no run. He plays the whole over with pads, the fifth delivery kept low and was entering the stumps but Pujara used his left leg to keep that out. A maiden over from O’Keefe.

15:12 IST Ravichandranran Ashwin comes into bat, Hazlewood continues his over. He pitches that one on the leg side, Ashwin lets it go to the wicketkeeper. A yorker from Hazlewood, same tactics as Starc used on lower-order batsmen.

15:09 IST WICKET! Karun Nair b Josh Hazlewood 23(47)

15:09 IST Hazlewood continues, Nair on strike, he shoulders arms on that one and lets it go into Wade’s hands. There is a problem with side screen, Nair sends Hazlewood back, he would have to run in again. Hazlewood had a few words for Nair there with his index finger pointed. A defensive shot from Nair, no run. A bouncer from Hazlewood, Nair ducks it and lets it go into Wade’s gloves, the Aussie pacer had a few words on the way back again. OUT! Hazlewood’s trash talks work, uproots the off stump, he is delighted!

15:05 IST Lyon continues, a runout chance as the ball went towards mid-wicket, Pujara survives as he gets back in time. Nair sweeps, the ball is cut off by sweeper, takes a couple of runs. He works the ball towards square leg for a single. Pujara plays with his pads on that one, no run. He comes forward and defends that one, no run. He pushes the last ball towards mid-off for a single, no run.

15:01 IST Hazlewood continues, Nair opens the face of the bat towards backward point for a single. An inswinging delivery, Pujara does well to keep that out, no run. A short ball, Pujara does well to drop his wrists and lets it go to Wade’s hands. He pushes the ball towards point, no run.

Smith is having a chat with Hazlewood devising strategies to unsettle Pujara. He jumps and tries to play the cut shot but ends up hitting it straight to the point fielder, no run. A defensive nudge towards mid-on, no run.

14:56 IST Nair on strike, Lyon continues, he plays it towards slip on the bounce, no run. A defensive block on that one, no run. He pushes the ball back to the bowler on the next one, no run. A faint lbw shout but the impact is outside off stump, the Umpire says no. He goes back into the crease and tries to use the bounce but short leg fielder gets hold of it, no run. He takes a single off the last ball towards mid-wicket, retains strike again.

14:53 IST Hazlewood continues, Nair on strike, he drives it towards mid-off, no run. He shoulders arms on that one, lets that one go into Wade’s gloves. Another defensive shot from him, no run. This time Nair gets in the line of the ball, defends it with bat and pad together. He lets that one go, does not interest in fishing outside the off stump. He takes a single off the last ball, retains strike.

14:48 IST Lyon continues, Nair on strike, he goes on the back foot and plays it between point and covers for a single. Pujara on strike, he goes back into the crease and pushes it back to the bowler, no run. He tries to come down the track and hit the ball with the spin but finds mid-on fielder, no run. Similar shot, this time he finds mid-wicket fielder, no run. He takes a big stride on off stump and plays the ball with his pads, no run. Comes down the track again and takes a single, wait! a loose throw ensures he gets a couple of runs.

14:44 IST Hazlewood continues, Pujara plays the ball in his typical fashion towards offside, no run. Another defensive shot towards covers, no run. No run off the next ball either as he plays that one defensively. He lets the next one go into Wade’s gloves, did not offer any shot. He hits the next ball back to the bowler, pays no heed to Hazlewood’s taunts. He plays the last ball towards mid-wicket, no run.

14:40 IST Nathan Lyon into the attack, Nair on strike, he comes forward and defends that one, no run. That one goes through everything, Nair comes forward but the ball misses everything and goes for four byes! A special story from Nair this time, reverse sweeps the ball on backward point for a couple of runs.

He comes forward and blocks the next one and then dabs the next for a single towards backward square leg. Pujara on strike, he comes down the track and flicks it for a single, retains strike.

14:36 IST Josh Hazlewood comes back into the attack, Pujara on strike. He blocks the first ball with precision, no run. Another defensive block from him, no run on that occasion either. He dabs it in front of offside fielder, no run. He pushes the next one towards covers, no run.

He shoulders arms on next one, no run. An appeal for caught behind but the Umpire shakes his head, a maiden over for Hazlewood. Steven Smith decides not to waste his review there, he has wasted enough already!

14:31 IST Pujara and Nair are back in the field for the third session of play!

Despite losing two wickets of captain Virat Kohli upon his infamous return and vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane it was Cheteshwar Pujara who binds promise for India as they still trail by 148 runs with 6 wickets in hand. Pat Cummins came back into the attack and took 2 wickets with the new ball showing the world that why he replace Mitchell Starc in the team as a strike bowler ahead of Jackson Bird.

14:11 IST Tea Break! 

14:10 IST Lyon is back into the attack to bowl the final over before lunch, Nair on strike, he defends the first ball towards on side, no run. He takes a single and brings Pujara on strike. He plays it towards mid-wicket, no run. He pushes the ball past mid-wicket fiedler for a single. Nair too takes a single towards covers going back into the crease. Pujara too takes a single on the last ball before tea break and retains strike.

14:07 IST Just two singles from Maxwell’s over. Pujara and Nair not having any problems against the part-timer cruising towards Australia’s first innings score. Nair too is looking positive in his intent just on the brink of tea break.

14:04 IST O’Keefe continues, just a boundary off that over as Nair hits him through the line towards covers, he turns on the caution mode for the rest of the over, he knows what his job is at this point of third Test.

14:01 IST Glenn Maxwell has been introduced into the attack, he comes round the wicket. Pujara nudges it towards on side, no run. Extra bounce for Maxwell but Pujara does well to dab it down. Another block from Pujara, no run. He plays the next one towards square leg for a single. Nair on strike, he goes back into the crease and plays it back to the bowler. A straighter delivery from Maxwell, Nair goes on back foot and takes a single.

13:58 IST O’Keefe continues, Nair on strike, makes room for himself, in the air and goes through the covers for FOUR! Next ball, Nair watches it closely going into O’Keefe’s gloves. He rocks back into his crease and takes a single towards point on the next ball, Pujara on strike, he makes room and hits the ball back pas O’Keefe for a FOUR! Smith is perplexed with that one. He knocks the ball around for a single, Nair on strike, a front foot block from him, no run.

13:54 IST Cummins coninues his over, angles the delivery in, Pujara defends it. A bit short of the length delivery from Cummins, Pujara stays in his crease and defends it, no run. He pushes the next one towards mid-on, no run. He lets the last one go into Wade’s gloves, shows no interest to hit that one.

13:51 IST Cummins continues, Pujara on strike, he lets that one go, does not want to give his wicket away. FOUR! Pujara gets to his hundred! A brilliant inning under pressure for him. He has played a chanceless innings today.

13:49 IST O’Keefe continues, Pujara on strike, he opens the face of the bat and plays it towards point, no run. He pushes the next one towards off side, no run. A defensive block this time, no run. Another block as Pujara presents a straight bat, no run. Pujara goes back into the crease and plays it towards square leg for a single. Nair on strike, a flighted delivery pushed towards off side, no run.

13:47 IST Karun Nair comes into bat, he plays the first ball towards off side, no run. Similar shot off the next ball, he needs to stich a partnership with Pujara and get India past the first innings score of Australia. A fuller delivery from Cummins, Nair comes forward and pushes it towards covers. The last ball hits Nair on the ribs, good stuff from Cummins, he is filling in the space created after Mitchell Starc’s injury.

13:43 IST WICKET! Ajinkya Rahane c Mathew Wade b Pat Cummins 14 (33)

13:42 IST Cummins comes back into the attack, Rahane pushes the ball towards off side, no run. OUT! Tries to play uppercut on that one but the ball takes a faint edge which carries to Wade, Cummins is delighted, he has got his 3rd wicket! He would be kicking himself on the way back for that shot/

13:40 IST O’Keefe into the attack, Pujara on strike, he plays two dot deliveries, trying to get off strike on every ball. He gets down the track this time but hits the ball towards covers, no run. FOUR! Comes down the track and hits the full toss towards mid-wicket boundary for four, moves to 95! Pitched down the leg side, Pujara tries to get bat on that, goes past Wade’s gloves for a boundary, four byes signalled by the Umpire. A forward block from Pujara, 8 runs from it.

13:36 IST Cummins continues, that was pitched way down the leg side, Wade gets his glove on that but could not stop that from going to the boundary. Four runs added to the scoreboard, Rahane on strike. He comes forward and blocks that one towards covers, no run. Bouncer! Rahane pulls it along the ground for a single, short stuff from Cummins is not working on him.

Pujara on strike, he guides the ball for a single towards backward point. Rahane on strike, defend the inswinging delivery, no run. He shoulders arms on the last ball, no run.

13:31 IST Lyon to Pujara, extra bounce seems to have hurt Pujara on the right thumb as his bat swung trying to block it. He is okay now, takes strike again. He defends that one, no run. A flick off the next one behind square leg, takes a single, he is in nervous 90’s now. Rahane on strike, he gets on front foot and blocks it, no run. Another front foot block, no run. He turns the ball towards square leg for a single, retains strike.

13:27 IST Pat Cummins is back into the attack, Rahane on strike, he flicks the ball between square leg and mid-wicket for a single. Pujara on strike, he ios on 86, opens the face of the bat between point and covers, picks up a couple of runs, moves onto 88. Slightly short ball, Pujara gets bat on that, a single towards fine leg.

Straighter delivery from Cummins, angled into the stumps, Rahane does well to get a straight bat on that, no run. He pushes the next one towards mid-on, no run. Inside edge! Rahane almost dragged that one into the stumps, he would have to be careful than that.

13:22 IST Lyon continues, Pujara on strike, he pushes the ball wide off Lyon, slight mix-up but safe in the end, no run. He takes a single off the next ball towards square leg. Rahane on strike, he presents a straight bat on that occasion, no run. He goes deep into the crease and defends the next one, no run. Another defensive block from the next ball, no run. He flicks the ball towards square leg for a single, retains strike.

13:20 IST Hazlewood continues, Pujara on strike, he guides the ball towards mid-wicket, runs hard and takes a couple of runs. He takes a single behind square leg moving across the stumps, moves to 84. Rahane plays the short ball towards square leg for a single. Pujara on strike, he punches the ball off the back foot and takes single, wide off covers. 250 up for India! Rahane plays the ball towards point, no run there. FOUR! A bouncer from Hazlewood gets punished, Rahane hits it in the air, two bounces over the rope.

Drinks Break! 

13:10 IST Nathan Lyon into the attack, Pujara cuts the ball behind point for a boundary, he has moved to 80 now! Two defensive shots from him on the next two deliveries. He takes a single towards mid-on off the next. Rahane on strike, FOUR! shimmies down the wicket and hits it towards deep cover for four. A dot ball to end the over, 9 runs from it.

13:06 IST Pujara on strike as Hazlewood continues, he defends the first one on front foot, no run. Short of the length delivery from Hazlewood now, no run as he goes back into the crease and defends that one. Meanwhile, we saw Mahatma Gandhi’s doppelganger in the crowd and he is unbelievably still. He defends the next ball towards covers, I meant Pujara, not Gandhi. He takes a single towards square leg. Rahane on strike, he plays the ball towards mid-off, no run.

13:02 IST Cummins on strike, short ball on the leg side, Pujara flicks it for a boundary towards fine leg, Wade on full stretch could not catch that, Cummins has his hands on his head. Short delivery from Cummins, Pujara manages to duck that one, no run. He comes forward and dabs the ball on the pitch, no run.

FOUR! Pujara in full flow, uses the bounce of the ball and cuts the ball jumping in the air. He is looking dangerous now for Australia. Pujara takes a single towards fine leg, Rahane on strike for the last ball. Mix-up there as Rahane defends that, I do not know why Pujara wanted a run there.

12:56 IST Hazlewood back into attack, Rahane on strike, he lets that one go into Saha’s hands. LBW shout from Australian fielders but Umpire says no, DRS not taken. Rahane shoulders arms again, not interested in fishing outside the off stump line. Next one was pitched up,

Rahane drives but the ball goes straight to point fielder, no run. Bouncer! Rahane drops back and lets it go into Wade’s gloves, no run. Another drive, this time gets the ball in the middle of the bat, no run as short covers fielder gets hand on that, a maiden from Hazlewood.

12:51 IST Ajinkya Rahane comes into bat and hits the ball for a single towards mid-wicket, gets off the mark instantly. Pujara on strike, he plays it towards mid-wicket fielder, no run.

12:48 IST OUT! Virat Kohli c Steven Smith b Pat Cummins 6 (23)

Pat Cummins to bowl with the new ball, Pujara on strike, he plays the first one towards mid-on, no run. FOUR! Wrists come in handy as Pujara flicks the ball towards deep mid-wicket boundary. He is scoring boundaries now. Another shot, another flick, Maxwell does well to cut that off inches away from the boundary, three runs taken. OUT! Virat Kohli walks back to the pavilion, edged it to second slip, Cummins is delighted, he has got his man.

New ball has been taken by Steven Smith!

12:43 IST Lyon continues, Kohli on strike, he plays the first one towards mid-wicket, no run. Makes room for himself but could not get it through short fine leg fielder. He flicks again, gets it to the right of mid-wicket fielder and takes a single. Pujara on strike, he dabs the ball towards onside, no run. Dances down the wicket and hits the ball along the ground for FOUR! he is attacking now, he knows Kohli will take time to adjust, takes a single and keeps strike.

12:40 IST O’Keefe continues, Pujara plays the first ball with his pads, no run. Same result on the next ball as well. He tries to flick away that one past backward square leg but could not take a single. Another defensive block, no run. He pushes the ball back to O’Keefe on next one, no run. Another dot ball to end the over, a maiden from O’Keefe.

12:38 IST Nathan Lyon coming round the wicket to Kohli, he plays the first ball towards mid-wicket, no run. A quick single from Kohli as he pushes the ball just wide off mid off fielder. Pujara on strike, he plays the ball towards sqaure leg, no run. He defends the next one, staying back in his crease. He goes back into the crease and plays the ball between point and mid-off, takes a single. Kohli could not time it, ball falls on the pitch, no run.

12:35 IST O’Keefe continues, Kohli on strike, a faint shout from him. He is coming over the wicket trying to get turn and bounce from that rough. He takes a single off the next ball towards backward square leg. Pujara on strike, he defends the first one and plays with his pads on the rest, just a single of the over.

12:32 IST Nathan Lyon into the attack, Kohli on strike, he takes a single flicking the ball towards mid-wicket, he is trying to attack Lyon. Pujara on strike, he uses his pads to block that one, no run. A front foot block from him on that occasion and takes a single off the next. Kohli on strike, he defends that one. Last ball of the over, he takes a single towards deep mid-wicket and keeps strike.

12:29 IST O’Keefe continues, he plays the first two balls defensively, no runs scored. FOUR! shuffles in the crease and works the ball towards onside boundary for four, he has moved to 48 now. He defends the next two deliveries with a straight bat, no run. FOUR! Pujara uses his feet to the best effect, pierces the offside field and gets to his fifty! 

12:26 IST Hazlewood continues, Kohli on strike, he plays a nice looking drive towards mid-off, no run. He shuffles across the stumps but could not time the ball, no run, trying too much too soon. A defensive block towards short mid-wicket, no run. A similar shot of that of Smith’s. A nudge towards short mid-wicket, no run.

He opens the face of the bat towards covers, no run. He plays the next one towards point, wants a run but Pujara sends him back, a maiden over from Hazlewood.

12:20 IST O’Keefe continues, Kohli on strike, a front foot defense from him, no run. Kohli goes back into the crease and nudges the ball towards square leg for a single, he is off the mark. Pujara on strike now, he is coming round the wicket now, Pujara comes forward and defends it with a straight bat, no run. He comes down the wicket off the next and drives the ball towards covers, no run. He darts that one into the stumps, Pujara pushes it to mid-on, no run. Another defensive block, no run.

12:17 IST Hazlewood continues, Pujara on strike. Wristy charm there from Pujara! flicks the ball towards on side for a boundary. Kohli cheers him at the other end. Pujara is in a bit of trouble, he is asking for the physio there. Pujara is all okay, takes the strike again, he plays a solid defensive shot off the next ball, no run. A slightly over-pitched delivery from him, Pujara pushes it back to mid-off, no run.

Another defensive shot from Pujara on the front foot, no run. He flicks the next one towards short mid-wicket but straight to the fielder, no run. Another inswinging delivery, no run as Pujara blocks it with precision.

12:11 IST O’Keefe continues his over, Kohli flicks the ball but straight to short leg, no run. A defensive shot from Kohli on the last ball, it looks like he never had an injury, cool as a cucumber!

12:09 IST Virat Kohli is back on the field, the crowd lets out a loud cheer! 

12:00 IST India are in a good position as the third Test is nicely poised between the two teams. Despite Vijay’s wicket on the stroke of lunch, it has been a session that belonged to India. Although they scored only 73 runs in the first session, they did not give away their wickets. Now, we will come to the good news, it is pretty much official now that Kohli will be coming into bat.

Kohli has been raring to get back into the field. He is very much active in the dressing room as well pacing up and down like a boy who is itching to get out in the field. He even came out of th dressing room and cheered when Australia lost their second review. One thing is for sure, that this Test match is going to get a hell lot of interesting!

Lunch Break! 

11:30 IST WICKET! Murali Vijay st Mathew Wade b Steve O’Keefe 82 (183)

O’Keefe continues, Vijay gets trapped in the crease, edged and lands safe, he will take a single. Vijay after defending a ball dances down the wicket trying to hit the ball but gets stumped out as O’Keefe chnages the line and length late. OUT! Vijay is gutted with himself for playing that shot, he knows he has missed out on an hundred here!

11:28 IST Hazlewood continues, Pujara on strike. FOUR! that one was timed with perfection, goes to the boundary along the ground, even a dive from mid-on fielder would not save that. Vijay-Pujara dealing in boundaries now. Next ball, he shoulders arms and lets that go, no run. Huge appeal from Australian fielders as the short ball carries to short leg fielder. The Umpire says no, Smith is not happy as they do not have any reviews left.

Pujara plays the next one towards point, Vijay wants a run but had to run back. Pujara takes a single towards third man for a single. Vijay on strike for the last ball, angled in, huge lbw shout but the Umpire says no again. A couple of runs taken and Vijay-Pujara complete 100 run partnership.

11:23 IST O’Keefe into the attack once again, Pujara on strike, he hits the ball towards silly point, no run hits the fielder. He defends the next one, no run. Pujara takes a single towards backward square leg, brings Vijay on strike. Vijay defends the first and slogs the next one towards deep mid-wicket boundary fo four, muscle power from him on that occasion as he slaps the ball towards the boundary, once bounce over the fence. Meanwhile, the ball got a bit lost after Vijay’s shot, he would enjoy that. Vijay gets back into the crease and defends that.

11:18 IST Hazlewood continues, Vijay drives it but the ball takes an edge and goes towards wide third man fielder for a single. Pujara on strike now, he gets behind the ball and pushes it back, no run. He drives the ball towards mid-off, no run as it was fielded inside the circle. He takes a single towards fine leg for a single. Another drive from Pujara, this time towards covers, no run. He dabs the next one towards onside, no run.

11:14 IST Lyon continues, Vijay on strike. FOUR! He gets down the track and hits the ball over mid-off fielder for four, he is surely not holding back now. A 100 in store, eh mate? An edge off that delivery as the ball did not turn as Vijay expected, takes a single behind point. Pujara on strike, he throws his pads on that one, no run.

Lyon coming over the wicket now, Pujara defends that one well, no run. He tries to nudge the ball pas leg-slip but could not get through, no run. He goes deep into the crease and flicks it towards mid-wicket, no run.

11:10 IST Hazlewood continues, Pujara on strike, he plays it towards on side, no run. He plays that one late towards the third man and takes a couple of runs. A defensive block from Pujara, nice front foot block. FOUR! Nice on-drive towards long-on boundary, no need to run for that, now he is getting into the groove. Another front foot block followed by a duck on the bouncer from Hazlewood, no runs scored.

11:05 IST Nathan Lyon continues, Vijay on strike, he comes forward and defends it, no run. He sweeps and gets that fine, boundary for him towards the fine leg, he is trying to break through! Slightly over-pitched delivery, he defends that with a straight bat, no run.

He sweeps again but this time the sweeper will cut that off, takes a couple of runs. He plays a defensive shot towards short leg, no run. He comes down the wicket but plays a defensive shot, 6 runs off Lyon’s over.

11:01 IST O’Keefe continues, Vijay takes a single towards covers, brings Pujara on strike. He presents his pads on that occasion, no run. He pushes the next one towards mid-pff, no run. He comes down the wicket off the next ball, plays the ball on the full and takes a single towards deep mid-wicket.

FOUR! Vijay comes down on one knee and sweeps the ball for a boundary, that will take the pressure off! A quick single there for Vijay on the on side and keeps strike.

Fun Fact: Virat Kohli came out of the dressing room and cheered when Australia lost their review, he surely does not hold his emotions back!

10:58 IST Lyon continues, Pujara on strike, the ball takes an edge but did not carry to short leg fielder, no run. He plays the next one towards mid-wicket, no run. He comes forward off the next ball, plays it with a straight bat. Meanwhile, Virat Kohli is smiling in the dressing room as the crowd lets out a big cheer for him.

Another defensive block from Pujara, no run. He takes a single towards point, no run. Another defensive shot towards short leg, a maiden over from Lyon.

10:55 IST O’Keefe continues, Pujara goes deep into the crease and defends it with a straight bat, no run. He guides the next one towards mid-off, no run. Another block off the back foot from Pujara, no run. This time he comes on front foot and blocks with his bat and pad forward. A dead inside edge towards short leg, no run. Last ball, he makes room and takes a single inside circle.

10:53 IST Another lbw shout from Lyon as he suspects an edge carried to the short leg, Umpire remains unmoved. No reviews left for Australia. He defends the next ball and takes a single off the following delivery. Pujara on strike, he defends that one. He takes a single towards mid-off, no run. Another dot ball to end the over, just two runs from it.

Vijay was lucky on that occasion as replay showed that the ball took a definite edge.

10:50 IST O’Keefe continues, Pujara pushes it towards mid-on, no run. He makes room for himself and pushes the next one to mid-on too, no run. Pujara is getting restless, punches off the back foot towards covers, no run. He takes a single behind point fielder. Vijay on strike, he defends the first ball. Last ball, he works it towards backward square leg for a single, retains strike.

10:47 IST Lyon continues, Vijay on strike, short leg fielder catches it. A wild appeal from the Australian fielders but the Umpire says no. Two defensive shots follow as Vijay tries to be cautious. He guides the ball towards point, tries to take a single but Pujara says no. Ball takes a deft leading edge of the bat, no run as it goes towards covers fielder. He comes forward and defends it, no run, a maiden from Lyon.

10:43 IST O’Keefe continues, Vijay takes a single towards long-off. Meanwhile, Smith having a discussion with O’Keefe, devising strategies to get a breakthrough here. Pujara goes back into the crease and plays it towards square leg for a single. Vijay takes a single towards lon-off for a single.

A straight bat block on the next delivery from Pujara. Another defensive block from Pujara, plays it towards on side. LBW shout! but there was an inside edge there I reckon. Australia take a review, seems to be wasting that one! Yeah I was right, definite inside edge there. 

10:39 IST It’s official folks! Virat Kohli will come into bat after the second wicket! 

10:38 IST Lyon continues, Pujara shimmies down the wicket and guides the ball towards mid-wicket for a single. Vijay on strike, he uses the sweep shot to utmost effect, takes a single towards square leg. Pujara on strike, he goes back into the crease and pushes it towards mid-off, no run. Bat and pad together and a perfect block from Pujara. Meanwhile, Kohli has his pads on! Pujara defends another. He gets down the wicket on the last ball but plays a defensive shot, no run.

10:32 IST O’Keefe continues, he nudges the ball towards square leg for a single getting back into the crease. Pujara on strike, he gets forward and blocks that one towards point, no run. Pujara drives that one towards deep mid-on, takes a single as the fielder puts in a dive and throws it back at the non-striker’s end.

Vijay pushes the ball towards covers, no run as it goes straight to the fielder. He presents a defensive block on the next delivery. Another front foot block, no runs scored.

10:29 IST Nathan Lyon into the attack, spin from both ends as soon as Smith saw that delivery spun a mile. Vijay on strike, he defends that one, inside edge onto the pads, no run. He plays the next one towards short leg, no run. Vijay gets down the track but pulls off the shot and present his pads, no run.

He plays the next one towards square leg, no run. He goes back into the crease and guides the ball behind square, takes a single. Pujara on strike, plays it straight to short leg fielder, no run. Lyon looking to attack from round the wicket.

10:25 IST O’Keefe continues, Vijay plays it towards deep square leg, takes a couple of runs there. He chips it this time, O’Keefe shouts catch it! but the ball lands safe. He takes a single towards long-on. Pujara on strike, he defends it, no run. Another defensive block from Pujara, no run.

The next one was pitched on the leg side, Pujara tried to work it away but could not get bat on that. Whoa! the pitch is starting to show its true colours, misses the edge, Pujara was literally surprised by that delivery.

10:22 IST Cummins continues, Pujara on strike, he defends the first ball pitched in offside line with a slightly dropped back length, no run. He dabs the next towards point but finds the fielder, no run. Pujara drives the ball towards mid-on, the fielder cuts it off, no run.

He plays the next one towards point, no run. A similar shot off the next delivery, going back into the crease, no run. Another short delivery, Pujara picks it up early and ducks, another maiden for Cummins.

10:17 IST O’Keefe continues, Pujara on strike, he dances down the track but could not get the room to play that one, no runs scored. FOUR! he goes back into the crease and plays it towards on side for four, Pujara has been trying to concede a boundary for a while now.

Two more dot deliveries to follow as Pujara turns defensive again on darted in deliveries. He plays the next one towards fine leg for a single. A dot ball to end the over as Vijay plays it with a straight bat, no run.

10:15 IST Cummins continues, Vijay on strike, he goes back into the crease and blocks it, no run. Next ball, he comes on front foot and defends it. Shoulders arms as soon as he identifies the line of the ball, no run. He plays the next one towards covers, no run. Short stuff from Cummins again, Vijay tries to pull it but misses the ball completely. Another dot to end the over, a maiden from Cummins.

10:10 IST O’Keefe continues, Vijay on strike, he takes a single and gets to his half-century, raises his bat in the air acknowledging the crowd cheering him. 50 for him in the 50th Test. India need him to get to those three figures in this inning. Pujara plays out the rest of the over, just a single from O’Keefe’s over.

10:08 IST Vijay gets to his half-century! Virat Kohli in the dressing room cheers Vijay’s milestone.

10:07 IST Pat Cummins introduced into the attack, Pujara on strike, he plays the first ball towards covers, no run. Next ball, he tries to get in the line of the ball but it takes an inside edge, no run. A slightly over-pitched delivery, Pujara gets in the line of the ball and lets it go, no run. A back of the length delivery, Pujara goes back into the crease and plays it towards point, no run.

Short stuff from Cummins, Pujara ducks that one, has no business to do with the short ball, he learned it the hard way. He ducks another as Cummins trying to exploit Pujara’s weakness, well, not anymore.

10:04 IST Good News! Virat Kohli is wearing his white shirt in the dressing room, does this mean he will come at No.4 today ahead of Ajinkya Rahane, fingers crossed!

10:02 IST O’Keefe continues, a big stride forward from Pujara but lets it go into Wade’s gloves. He plays the next one with a straight bat, no run. O’Keefe darts the next one into the stumps, Pujara plays it with a straight bat, no run. HOWZZAT! Pujara misses the ball and Wade takes off the bails, Umpire shakes his head, no run. Pujara takes a single after a defensive block, one run off O’Keefe’s over.

9:59 IST Hazlewood continues, Pujara on strike, pushes it towards offside, no run there for him. He pushes the next one back to Hazlewood, Pujara hits it back to him, the bowler displays some aggression, no run. He plays next one towards mid-on, no run. Hazlewood is hiding the shine of the ball, which is helping him to keep the batsman guessing. Pujara defends another one, no run.

He plays it towards square leg for a single, Vijay on strike, he is on 49. A short delivery from Hazlewood, surprises him and hits Vijay on the back of the shoulder, no run. Hazlewood has something to say to Vijay, he pays no heed to those words.

9:54 IST O’Keefe continues, Vijay is on 49. He plays the first one with the straight bat, back to the bowler, no run. Next one, he pushes it towards off side, no run. He plays the next one back to the bowler, in no hurry to get to his half-century. Vijay drives on that occasion but finds the fielder at cover, no run. Extra bounce for O’Keefe, hits the bat high, no run. Another defensive shot ot end the over, still on 49. A maiden over from O’Keefe.

9:51 IST Hazlewood continues, Vijay on strike, front foot block to start off the over, no run. He works the next one towards mid-wicket but Maxwell puts in a dive to his left and saves it, no run there for Vijay. This time he goes a bit into the crease and guides the ball towards point takes a single.

Pujara on strike, he shoulders arms on that delivery, not going to fish outside the off stump. The next one was short and down the leg side, Pujara stays still and lets it go into Wade’s hands. Meanwhile, Vijay is on 49! Another inswinging, plays it towards mid-on, no run.

9:47 IST O’Keefe continues, Pujara comes down the wicket and plays the ball on the full, goes straight to mid-off fielder, no run. Two defensive blocks with a straight bat from Pujara on next two deliveries. He tries to use his wrists, turns it towards point, no run. He plays the next delivery on the front foot towards short leg, no run. Another block to end the over, a maiden for O’Keefe.

9:44 IST Hazlewood continues, angles the ball inwards, Pujara plays it towards short covers, no run. A straight bat on that occasion, fielded by the fielder at mid-off, no run. Pujara has his defensive mode on, bring on Aussies! Another defensive block on the front foot, if he gets going, Aussie bowlers will be facing the Wall- Part 2. 

This time he tries to work the ball on the onside but could not infuse power in that shot, no run. A short delivery on that instance, Pujara was a bit surprised but manages to play it down to fine leg for a single, he has been out on a similar delivery in the Test series before. Vijay on strike, a solid front foot block from him, no run.

There is some problem with the side screen, a slight delay in the third over of the day.

9:38 IST Steve o’Keefe into the attack, Pujara on strike, he plays the first ball towards mid-wicket, no run. Next ball, he pushes it bat to the bowler, no run. The next one was darted on the stumps, Pujara presents a straight bat, no run. He plays the next one towards backward square leg for a single.

Vijay on strike, he dances down the wicket and hits it past O’Keefe for a four. Now, we know for whom he was practising those shots. Go Vijay! He plays the last ball towards mid-on, no run.

9:35 IST Hazlewood bowls a good length delivery, Pujara presents a solid defensive shot, no run. Hazlewood pitches the ball up this time, Pujara comes forward and opens the face of the bat towards covers, no run. First runs of the day, Pujara guides the ball towards point for a single. Vijay on strike, he is batting on 42.

That one was angled into the batsman, Vijay moves across and plays it towards onside, no run. Another angled in delivery, Vijay defends it back to Hazlewood, he is not playing any shots he practiced before the day’s play, maybe he is saving them. Next ball, uneven bounce there, beats Vijay, just a single from the over.

9:30 IST Cheteshwar Pujara on strike, Josh Hazlewood to start the proceedings of Day 3. Brace yourselves!

9:28 IST Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara are walking out in the middle for the first session of Day 3.

9:10 IST Suni Gavaskar’s verdict on the pitch: The pitch is not going to bat easy post lunch period. Indian batsmen will have to work hard after the first session as Nathan Lyon and Steve O’Keefe will try to make the most of the rough and cracks on the pitch.

9:05 IST Virat Kohli has been the trending topic on every social networking websiteHe too is young and restless shadow-practicing in the dressing room. We all know that he is rearing to go out in the field and express himself. I have not seen a batsman this passionate after Sachin Tendulkar retired from international cricket.

Have a look at what happened on the first ball of Day 2. Hint: Umesh Yadav showed his muscle power

Meanwhile, Murali Vijay having a crack at the ball in practice session. He has a big day ahead of him today!

Welcome to inUth’s digital coverage of Day3 of the third Test match at Ranchi. The first ever Test at Ranchi has been interesting so far. Australia had it under control on Day 1 with Steven Smith and Glenn Maxwell piling on runs. Day 2 saw Ravindra Jadeja helping India make a comeback into the match and help India bundle out Australians for 451. Indian openers Murali Vijay and KL Rahul too gave the perfect start.

Rahul got out after scoring his half-century and missed yet another well-deserved century in this Test series. Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara are currently batting now and holding fort. Vijay is inching closer to his half-century whereas Pujara is trying to play himself in. They have a huge responsibility on their shoulders with clouds of uncertainties flying over Virat Kohli’s availability.

Will India survive without Virat Kohli?
This might seem but odd but despite being out of form Kohli has a lot of weight age in the batting lineup. Just knowing that he is there you to back up when the chips are down gives the batsmen freedom to play their natural game. However, his performance in the Test series as been nowhere in the mark but Ranchi pitch is the kind where Kohli can start afresh.

There was also a rumour going around Kohli would only bat when there is a dire need for him to come in the middle. Also, the Australian bowlers will have it in the back of the mind that they would have one less wicket to take, one less strategy to devise if Kohli could not be fit before his chance comes. On Day 2’s last session it was Ajinkya Rahane who was all padded up to come in and play instead of Kohli whose batting number is no. 4.

Pitch Report
One can notice the rough patches on the pitch at the end of Day 2. So far the Indian batsmen have played well in the first innings. They need to score runs and get rid of the trail on Day 3 as the pitch will deteriorate by the session on Day 3. Indian batting lineup did well to tunr the Pune Test into their favour, they need to pull off something similar to that in order to win the Ranchi Test. Turn and bounce is bound to happen frequently at the end of Day 3.

Playing XI India: Lokesh Rahul, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Karun Nair, Wriddhiman Saha(wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma

Playing XI Australia: David Warner, Matt Renshaw, Steven Smith(c), Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Wade(wk), Pat Cummins, Steve O’Keefe, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood

Umpires: Chris Gaffaney , Ian Gould
Third Umpire: Nigel Llong
Match Referee: Sir Richie Richardson

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