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  1. India vs Australia 3rd Test Match, Day 2 Stumps, Ind-120/1: KL Rahul and Murali Vijay help India fightback after Steve Smith’s brilliant knock

India vs Australia 3rd Test Match, Day 2 Stumps, Ind-120/1: KL Rahul and Murali Vijay help India fightback after Steve Smith’s brilliant knock

India vs Australia 3rd Test: Indian captain Virat Kohli who is always ready to put his body in line, did it once again but this time ended up injuring himself and had to leave the field.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: March 24, 2017 3:48 PM
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India vs Australia 3rd Test Match, Day 2 Stumps, India – 120/1.

Another fantastic day of cricket where both the times shared the honours. India was down once again having conceded 451 runs but the openers fought back and did that in style. KL Rahul got India off to a brilliant start while Murali Vijay held his end smartly. Rahul was fluent in his 102-ball 67-run knock that included 9 boundaries. This was his fourth half-century in last 5 innings but the opener once again failed to convert it into a three-figure score. Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay picked from there on and kept the scoreboard moving at a decent pace.

Earlier, Australia started off really well as Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell picked from their yesterday’s heroics. Maxwell reached his maiden Test century in his comeback game before Ravindra Jadeja git rid of him. the left-arm spinner jolted visitor’s progress by picking more wickets before the lunch break. However, there was no stopping the Aussie skipper. Smith added 51 valuable runs for the 8th wicket with Steve O’Keefe (25) and helped his side to a strong total of 451. He remained not out on 178 scoring his 19th Test century, 6th against India and 2nd of this series.

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

6:00 PM: Here is the final review of Day 2 from Aakash Chopra:

4:15 PM: Before the start of this series KL Rahul had 4 centuries in his Test career but just one half-century. After today’s knock, he has 5 half-centuries but that shows his failure to convert good totals into match-winning knocks, something Steve Smith has done beautifully so far. This is one area where Rahul needs to work on.

4:00 PM: OUT! Pat Cummins gets the wicket of KL Rahul. He was looking good at 67 but that was a fantastic delivery from Cummins. He has proved his captain right who persisted with the fast bowler. Cheteshwar Pujara is the new man in.

3:40 PM: The opening partnership is now of 81 runs. While KL Rahul has raced his way to a half-century, Murali Vijay is taking his time. He has taken 71 balls for his 23 runs but that’s the typical Vijay. He likes to bat long and India needs that in this game.

3:20 PM: Half-century for KL Rahul, fifth of his career and fourth of his series. The opening partnership is now of 73 runs and things are looking good for the Indian side. If these two can bat till stumps, India will be in a very strong position.

3:00 PM: Ravindra Jadeja had an outstanding day in the field and even pulled off a MS Dhoni:

2:35 PM: The players are out after the tea break and spin has been introduced by the Australian skipper. Steve O’Keefe was brilliant with the bat earlier in the day and would be hoping to repeat the performance with the ball now. Meanwhile, Watch Karun Nair’s brilliant catch:

2:15 PM: Day 2, Tea, India – 20/0. Decent start for India. KL Rahul was fluent as always while Murali Vijay held his end well before the tea break. There are still question marks over Virat Kohli’s fitness so the opening partnership becomes very important.

1:52 PM: The Indian openers are out in the middle and have started very carefully. Only 4 runs have been scored in the first 4 overs. Murali Vijay is making a comeback in the playing XI after missing the previous Test while Pat Cummins is back for Australia after 5 years gap. This will be an interesting battle to watch.

1:30 PM: That’s it! Ravindra Jadeja wraps up the innings and deservedly so. He was one of the bright points for India and once again stepped up when Ashwin failed. Jadeja finished with the figures of 124/5 while Umesh Yadav registered 106/3. However, this innings belonged to the Aussie skipper Steve Smith who remained not out on 178. He was fabulous throughout the innings and took his side to a very strong total.

1:14 PM: OUT! Another wicket for India, Ravindra Jadeja strikes again. It’s another 5 wicket-haul for him as Nathan Lyon has to depart after scoring just 1 run. India has done well to hold Australia here but the job isn’t over as Steve Smith is till at the crease.

1:10 PM: Finally India gets a breakthrough. It’s Umesh Yadav who gets rid of Steve O’Keefe but the left-arm spinner did his job by scoring 25 runs. He added 50 runs with his captain who is still batting at 174. This is the third time an Australian team has put on five 50-run partnerships in India. Last time they did in Delhi in 2008 .

12:52 PM: Another good 45 minutes for Australia as 36 runs have been scored in last 10 overs without losing a wicket. The current partnership between Steve Smith and Steve O’Keefe is now of 46 runs. Stevie is looking unbeatable at this moment and is batting on 170. He is reminding of Ricky Ponting’s marathon innings against India.

12:30 PM: The runs are not coming thick and fast for the Australian side after the lunch break but they are coming for sure and that’s what matters. Steve O’Keefe is batting on 10 runs and has added 36 crucial runs with the captain. Small partnerships like this can change the course of the match.

12:10 PM: We are back live after the lunch break. Ravichandran Ashwin will start the proceedings for India. The hosts would be hoping to wrap up things real fast here. They are already playing the catch-up game and another 50 runs can virtually push them in more trouble.

11:55 AM: Ravindra Jadeja has grown has a player. He used to be the Robin to Ashwin’s Batman but slowly the Rockstar is taking the spotlight himself. A six-wicket haul in the last game and now 4 wickets so far in this inning:

11:40 AM: Lunch, Day 1, Australia – 401/7. Another session that went Australia’s way even though Ravindra Jadeja tried to pull things back by picking up three wickets. Steve Smith was instrumental and reached his 150 while Glenn Maxwell answered his critics by scoring a century on his comeback. Matthew Wade’s cameo can prove to be to very crucial as well. The visitors have reached the 400-run mark that they targeting and anything from here will be a bonus.

11:30 AM: Two big wickets for India before the lunch break. Even though Steve Smith is still out there, Ravindra Jadeja has brought India back in the game. Matthew Wade was looking dangerous but had to depart for 37 while Pat Cummins couldn’t open his account on his Test return.

11:20 AM: It is turning out to be a great session for the Australian team. Steve Smith continues to dominate the bowlers and is heading towards the 150-run mark. On the other end, Matthew Wade is playing the aggressor. He has raced his way to 36 runs from just 48 balls. Indian bowlers have not just failed to pick wickets but have also leaked runs.

10:47 AM: The current partnership between Steve Smith and Matthew Wade is of 19 runs and Australia is past the 350-run mark. Smith is batting on 138 and is equally focused as he was at the beginning of this innings. Is India missing Virat Kohli – the captain?

10:28 AM: Glenn Maxwell may have given us the moment of the match before getting out. Watch it here:

10:22 AM: OUT! Big wicket for India! Glenn Maxwell is gone for 104 and its Ravindra Jadeja once again who breaks the partnership. Few years back he was considered a bits and pieces player but now he is turning to be a genuine match-winner for India.

10:12 AM: Century! for Glenn Maxwell, his in Test cricket and the Kings XI Punjab captain should be proud of it. It wasn’t an easy start for him but he fought hard to get his eye in and picked up from there. The partnership is now of 189 runs and is really giving a tough time to the Indian bowlers.

10:00 AM: It has been easy going for the Australian side so far. Maxwell has looked very good and is heading towards his maiden Test century while Steve Smith as solid as always. Ajinkya Rahane has already introduced spin with Ravindra Jadeja but India needs something special here.

9:42 AM: A decent start for Australia. Both Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell have scored a boundary each as the score is now past 300. Surprisingly, Ajinkya Rahane has started with pace from both ends. Ishant Sharma is bowling from the other end. Another 100 runs and the visitors would be in a very good position.

9:30 AM: Good morning folks! we are back and so are the players. It is going to be a fascinating session of cricket. The players are out, and Umesh Yadav has the ball. What a start! Maxwell’s bat has been broken into two! India is pumped up. Virat Kohli has not taken the field but he will bat if fit.

9:10 AM: Not an encouraging sign for batsmen as there are a lot of cracks on this wicket and it will dust for sure. Spinners will benefit from the footmarks of the fast bowlers. Here is how the pitch looks like on Day 2:

9:00 AM: Yesterday, Aussie skipper Steve Smith took charge in absence of his counterpart and stitched a brilliant partnership of 159 runs for the fourth wicket with Glenn Maxwell who was making a comeback to the side. Smith once again proved his mettle as a top-class batsman scoring his 19th Test hundred and 5th against India as captain. On the other hand, Maxwell played a very uncharacteristic inning as he didn’t score a single boundary off his first 50 balls. But, once he got his eye in, the newly appointed Kings XI Punjab captain scored runs all around the park.

8:40 AM: Here is a little flashback.

8:20 AM: In 2013 when Australia toured India both Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell were raw at the international level. In the fourth and final Test in Delhi, Smith who was just 23-year-old back then played an industrious knock of 46 runs from 145 balls in the first innings while Maxwell departed after scoring 10 runs off 14 balls. That was the last time these two players batted together in whites for the Australian side.

Since then, Steve Smith has transformed himself in a complete batsman and a dynamic leader. He is the backbone of the Australian Test side while Maxwell had played only one Test in UAE in 2014 and was dropped from the limited-overs side last year despite winning the ODI player of the year award in 2015. Both these men re-united at crease once in Ranchi and pulled off an incredible unbeaten partnership of 159 runs.

8:00 AM: Both the sides have been aggressive in this series so far. From Mitchell Starc pointing at Abhinav Mukund’s head to Virat Kohli’s furious response to Steve Smith, we have witnessed many heated moments. However, Wriddhiman Saha produced a hilarious moment on Thursday, watch it here:

7:40 AM: Steve Smith is having a wonderful tour. He has always loved batting against the Indian bowlers and the unbeaten 159-run stand with Glenn Maxwell is now the highest partnership of this series surpassing Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara’s partnership of 118 runs in Bengaluru. Here are few records broken by Smith in this inning:

1. He became the youngest Australian player to score 5000 Test runs beating former captain Ricky Ponting. Smith reached this mark at the age of 27 years and 287 days while Ricky Ponting was 28 years and 303 days old.

2. Steve Smith too 97 innings to reach 5000 Test runs which third fewest among Australian batsmen after Don Bradman (56) and Matthew Hayden (95).

3. He is now the first Australian captain to score 2 centuries in a series in India.

7:20 AM: Indian captain Virat Kohli left the field in 40th over of Day 1 when he suffered a shoulder strain. Ajinkya Rahane led the team in his absence and after the match, reports came out that Kohli may miss the remaining game. However, later in the day BCCI confirmed that his injury isn’t that serious and the Indian skipper may take part in the match after treatment.

Playing Conditions: The Ranchi wicket surprised most people as run-scoring was comparatively easier on Day 1. However, the conditions were hot and the wicket will get dry as the match goes on. We saw dust coming out on Day 1 as well and by the final session on Day 2, life may get really tough for the batsmen. The best time to bat will be before lunch and against the new ball. Australia would be hoping to make use of the advantage they have.

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

It was another disappointing day for the Indian bowlers who bowled their hearts out. Both Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma looked like picking up wickets in every single over while the spin twins: Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were good as always. The first session of Day 2 will be very crucial for both the sides and if Australia is able to bat through and get that total past 400-mark, they will be in a very strong position given that there is a doubt over Virat Kohli’s fitness.

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