1. India vs Australia 3rd Test Match, Aus-204/6: Peter Handscomb defuses India’s spin twins, match drawn

India vs Australia 3rd Test Match, Aus-204/6: Peter Handscomb defuses India’s spin twins, match drawn

India vs Australia 3rd Test: Cheteshwar Pujara faced 525 balls which is the highest by an Indian batsman in Tests. The record was previously held by Rahul Dravid who faced 495 balls in Rawalpindi in 2004.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: March 24, 2017 3:46 PM
As far as India is concerned, R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are likely to bowl most overs. (Reuters)

India vs Australia 3rd Test Match: STUMPS, Day 5, Australia – 204/6.

So, we are done with things at Ranchi. It was an exciting game that didn’t meet the deserving end. However, keeping aside the sentiments, it was a fair result as none of these deserved to lose the match. Virat Kohli would be slightly disappointed given the kind of position India was in at the start of the day. When they got rid of Steve Smith, the score was 64/4 but Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb pulled off one of the most memorable partnerships by an overseas pair in India.

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This has been a long domestic season for India but not too many games had gone into the final day. Last time a spirited Bangladesh side managed to take the match into Day 5 and Ranchi didn’t disappoint either. It was a memorable match for Ravindra Jadeja who picked up 9 wickets, scored a half-century and even pulled off an incredible run out.

Cheteshwar Pujara’s marathon knock will go into the history books while Wriddhiman Saha also proved his importance once again as a lower-order batsman. Their 199-run partnership was crucial in setting up the match nicely. The action now shifts to Dharamshala and the visitors will have an upper hand since the conditions favour the fast bowlers.

Here are Live Cricket Score Updates of India vs Australia 3rd Test Match:

4:30 PM: STUMPS, Day 5, Australia – 204/It’sIts all over in Ranchi. A fair result as none of these sides deserved to lose after putting up a magnificient show. Now the action will shift to Dharamshala which will act as the decider.

3:58 PM: OUT! Finally, India has taken a wicket. 62 overs and it is the same man again, Ravindra Jadeja. Shaun Marsh has to go for 53 but not without getting a standing ovation from his teammates. He played 197 balls to ensure this game ends as a draw.

3:50 PM: 370 balls and India hasn’t picked up a single wicket on the final day of a Test match at home. You won’t hear that line too often but unfortunately, today is one of those rare days. With 11 overs left in the day, this match is virtually over. Meanwhile, there is a special guest watching the match:

3:20 PM: A close review call turned down by the umpire. It is just not going in India’s favour but one has to give credit to the Australian batsmen as well. Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb have added 109 runs from 324 balls on a Day 5 wicket in India. That is an incredible feat without doubt.

2:45 PM: This game is heading towards a draw for now. Australia has equalled India’ s lead and only 26 overs are left. The equation is very clear for the Indian team. They need to bowl out the opposition in next 15 overs so that the batsmen have 10 overs to chase the target.

2:05 PM: We are heading towards the tea break and the partnership between Peter Handscomb and Shaun Marsh is of 82 runs from 222 balls. Australia is only 7 runs behind so India isn’t winning this game without batting again.

1:50 PM: Virat Kohli has gone back to his main man once again, Ravichandran Ashwin. The off-spinner hasn’t picked up a single wicket in this inning so far but with 36 overs left in the day, he is India’s biggest hope. Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb have faced almost 200 balls in this partnership now and that would give the dressing room a lot of confidence.

1:25 PM: This is the first time in this series when Virat Kohli has actually under bowled Ravichandran Ashwin and not Ravindra Jadeja. While the left-arm spinner has bowled 23 overs and has picked up 3 wickets, Ashwin has only bowled 15 overs. Interestingly, he has given away 43 runs so far while Jadeja has conceded only 27.

1:10 PM: This is Test cricket at its best. Peter Handscomb and Shaun Marsh have played 138 balls in their partnership of 45 runs. They are making the Indian team slightly nervous as 46 overs are left in the day. But, Virat Kohli would know that it won’t take much to start a collapse.

12:40 PM: Indian team is attacking the visitors but they are not giving up that easily either. The partnership between Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb is of 34 runs and they have survived 85 balls. However, this isn’t going to be enough. They are still 54 overs left in the day and that’s enough for the Indian team to bowl out the opposition.

12:10 PM: Watch this brilliant over by Ishant Sharma that eventually led to the downfall of Matt Renshaw:

11:55 PM: Australian team would be under a lot of pressure right now. They started off this game so well but India’s reply was better. Saving this match is going to be very tough for them.

11:30 AM: LUNCH Day 5, Australia – 83/4. One of the major reasons behind India’s success in Test cricket in last few years has been the performance of fast bowlers. Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have stepped at difficult times and have bowled incredible spells. Today, Ishant Sharma produced another magical spell and no doubt, he was always going to be a big weapon on a wicket where the ball is keeping low:

11:15 AM: Ishant Sharma was targeting the stumps this morning and he did get that line right against Matt Renshaw, trapped him right in front of the wicket:

11:00 AM: OUT! Finally, India got the opening and it is Ishant Sharma has provided the breakthrough. Matt Renshaw’s resistance was brought to end after 15 hard-fought runs. Ravindra Jadeja reponed in style and got the big wicket of Steve Smith. Australian skipper had to depart for 21 and suddenly, India is getting away with this game.

10:40 AM: This partnership has survived 106 balls which is a huge achievement in itself. Matt Renshaw has faced 69 balls for his 16 runs while smith has 59 for his 20. The total score is now more than 50.

10:20 AM: Australia is fighting hard against spin against a determined team India. The partnership between Steve Smith and Matt Renshaw is now of 20 runs from 84 balls. Australian dressing room won’t mind that as long as these two are out there in the middle.

9:50 AM: Virat Kohli has started with Umesh Yadav from one end. Since the ball was just 7 overs old one can understand that decision. The Australian team is happy to leave most deliveries and that’s how it is going to be like for the most part of the day. Indian bowlers will have to pick wickets on their merit.

9:30 AM: Good morning folks! We are live for the final day’s play and it’s not going to be anything less than special. Matt Renshaw and Steve Smith are out in the middle and the Indian team is in a huddle too. You can expect lots of close-in catches:

9:20 AM:  Cheteshwar Pujara (202) played one of the most important knocks of his career and must be really proud of it. There was extra pressure on him after Virat Kohli got injured and Ajinkya Rahane failed to convert a good start. Pujara rose to the occasion and added 199 valuable runs with an equally impressive Wriddhiman Saha who scored 117 runs as well.

The Australian team is currently 129 runs behind India and their only aim would be to bat for as long as possible and save the match. Since David Warner is already back in the pavilion, there will added pressure on Steve Smith to take his side through. He will need support from experienced players like Shaun Marsh and Glenn Maxwell. As far as India is concerned, R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are likely to bowl most overs as Virat Kohli would not want his batsmen to come out again.

9:00 AM: Ravindra Jadeja is having a fantastic game. From picking up a 5-wicket haul to pulling off a no-look run out to scoring a quick fire half-century, he has done it all. And, of course there was this special celebration too:

8:40 AM: Cheteshwar Pujara’s slow innings had made things very silent in the stadium. There were rare claps in between unless Indian team took the field. Virat Kohli was back and so was the aggression. In the final 30 minutes, there were shouts, screams and loads of drama. When David Warned got out, the Indian captain did’t miss the opportunity to mock him.

8:20 AM: In this knock, Cheteshwar Pujara faced 525 balls which is the highest by an Indian batsman in Tests. The record was previously held by Rahul Dravid who faced 495 balls in Rawalpindi in 2004. No doubt it was special innings for Pujara:

8:00 AM: This pitch has played amazingly well so far. However, there is a major concern for Australia. Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood bowled around 83 overs, most of which came from over the wicket and has led to some foot-marks outside the off-stump. These patches will assist Ravindra Jadeja and if he is able to exploit them, the game could be over sooner than expected.

7:40 AM: This was Cheteshwar Pujara’s 3rd Test double century and 11th of his first-class career. He has now equalled the record of most double centuries by a player which was previously held by Vijay Merchant. Pujara is now the first Indian player to score more than 2000 runs in a season. Watch his innings here:

7:20 AM: In a very short span of time, Wriddhiman Saha has become a very important part of India’s Test setup. His important contributions in the lower order cannot be ignored. Saha has scored 3 Test hundreds now which is second most by an Indian wicket-keeper after former captain MS Dhoni who scored 6.

Playing Conditions: The pitch has surprised everyone. Even on Day 4, run-scoring was not so difficult but the important things is to apply yourself on the wicket which the Indian batsmen did to perfection. However, there is some assistance for the spinners and odd ball is keeping low as well. So, India’s spin twins are going to be a huge threat for the visitors.

Playing XI:

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

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

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