Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Sport | By Ellis Neal

Pujara keeps india in hunt

Pujara keeps india in hunt

"We have an opportunity to win the series". However, Vijay could not keep hold of his wicket for long and was stumped by Wade trying to hit a boundary on O'Keefe's ball.

Pujara scored his third double hundred in Tests. Not being able to take the field and watching the opposition get big runs was hard. The scenario looked much different as their back was against the wall in the first session after they resumed the final day on a precarious 23/2 in 7.2 overs.

Notably, Australia have long struggled when in game saving mode and had not been able to successfully bat out a draw since Sri Lanka in 2011 during then captain Michael Clarke's first tour in charge. Marsh, who is in the finest phase of his career, batted for almost four hours in a performance up there with any of his Test centuries.

Australia, who began their second innings 152 runs adrift of the hosts, were in deep trouble after being reduced to 63-4 in Ranchi before Handscomb (72 not out) and Marsh (53) put on 124 for the fifth wicket.

Pujara along with Wridhhiman Saha (18 not out) ensured there no further wickets in the day with their unbeaten 32 run stand to end the day at 360 for six.

Starting the day on 120 for one, the home side made comfortable progress through the morning session, but were fortunate not to lose two quick wickets shortly after the drinks break.

Virat Kohli injury: While Kohli came out to field in the second innings, that shoulder is still bothering him - he only stood in the slips, to avoid having to dive or throw.

It was a sedate first hour of play where overnight batsmen Matt Renshaw and skipper Steve Smith looked to dig in their bid to save the five-day affair.

Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha on Sunday joined forces to frustrate Australia with a seventh-wicket record partnership.

India's Ravindra Jadeja claimed four wickets to return with overall match figures of 9-178 at India's newest Test venue.

Australia made first use of what turned out to be a batsman-friendly pitch, contrary to the Aussie media's hysterical predictions of a raging turner, and amassed 451 which Smith felt was a few runs short of what they might have hoped to score.

"KL Rahul (67) and Murali Vijay (82) batted beautifully, but the partnership between Pujara and Saha is the best I have seen", said Kohli.

Smith admitted to a "brain fade" which drew strong criticism from India captain Virat Kohli, resulting in considerable acrimony between the sides. He survived 51 balls from Jadeja before edging one to short leg. His footwork against Lyon and Steve O'Keefe was exemplary.

"I think the hardness of the ball was a big factor", the 28-year-old told reporters at the Jharkhand State Cricket Association Stadium.

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