India vs Australia 3rd Test Match, Ind-360/6: Cheteshwar Pujara’s brilliance keeps the match in balance at stumps

By: | Updated: March 24, 2017 3:37 PM

India vs Australia 3rd Test: If the hosts can bat through Day 3, they will not only save this game but will also be in a strong position to win.

Cheteshwar Pujara has scored his 11th Test century on Day 3 in Ranchi. (Source: PTI)

India vs Australia 3rd Test Match: STUMPS, Day 3, India – 360/6.

Another day where the match kept changing its course. India started off well and was in the driver’s seat with an excellent partnership between Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara. Even though runs were hard to come by before the lunch break, they made sure no wicket is lost till Vijay played a poor stroke to throw his wicket. He would still be disappointed in the dressing room. As most people expected, Virat Kohli walked in to bat and got a great reception from the crowd. However, the Indian captain couldn’t do much and was dismissed by Pat Cummins for just 6 runs.

READ | WATCH: Glenn Maxwell mocks Virat Kohli, makes fun of his injury

Cheteshwar Pujara then dropped anchor at one end and slowly but steadily kept the scoreboard moving. He reached his 11th Test century in style but didn’t lose focus even after that. Karun Nair got off to a good start as but failed to convert it. Pat Cummins was the pick of the bowlers for the visitors and finished the day with figures of 59/4 on a dead wicket.

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

4:45 PM: STUMPS, Day 3, India – 360/6.

4:30 PM: Last few overs have been very quiet for the India team. Not too many runs have been scored. The current partnership between Saha and Pujara is now of 32 runs from 81 balls.

4:10 PM: Wriddhiman Saha has faced 18 balls so far out of which 16 have been dot but he smashed the other two deliveries for a boundary. It’s not a bad start for the Indian wicket-keeper. He needs to continue like this for a while. Cheteshwar Pujara on the other end is calm as always.

3:50 PM: Another wicket down for India, Pat Cummins strikes once again as Ravichandran Ashwin departs for just 1. Suddenly, India has lost its way and now Pujara will be under a lot of pressure.

3:40 PM: Runs have completely dried since the fall of Karun Nair’s wicket. The current partnership is of just 6 runs from 45 balls. Ravichandran Ashwin has scored only 1 run from 20 balls and Pujara is also struggling to keep the scoreboard moving.

3:20 PM: Cheteshwar Pujara is holding his end as Karun Nair fell from the other end. Once again he got off to a good start but fell for 23 runs. He must realise that if he fails to convert these starts, soon people may forget his 300 against England.

3:00 PM: The match can go in any direction from here:

2:40 PM: The partnership between Karun Nair and Cheteshwar Pujara is now of 35 runs. India batsmen have managed to keep the Australian bowlers quiet in this innings and the team has passed the 300-run mark for the first time in this series. One of the reasons behind this has been the way batsmen have played the spinners.

2:20 PM: Tea, Day 3, India – 303/4. Another great session for the viewers. India is giving a tough fight to the Australian side. Cheteshwar Pujara has taken the charge for the hosts and has scored a brilliant century. This is 11th of career and probably one of the best. However, the job is far from being done and Karun Nair will have to step up as well. This is a perfect chance to show that triple-century against England wasn’t a one-off inning.

2:05 PM: Cheteshwar Pujara has reached his 11th Test century and is one of those players who don’t settle for less. He would be hoping to convert it into a big total and is joined by Karun Nair. All of us know that he can bat long too. India is 152 runs behind and ideally, would be hoping to take a lead of 100 runs given the depth they have in batting.

1:40 PM: A good partnership was building for India but Pat Cummins struck again. Ajinkya Rahane is gone for 14. These two had added 51 runs for the fourth wicket and now once again India is on the backfoot.

1:20 PM: India is past the 250-run mark and Cheteshwar Pujara has been joined by Ajinkya Rahane at the crease. Australia is till 196 runs ahead but they know what these two men could do. They need to break this partnership as early as possible tighten their grip on the game.

1:00 PM: Australia is making a good comeback here. Virat Kohli departed for 6 which is a blig blow for India but he was virtually out of this game so should not affect India too much. Cheteshwar Pujara is batting on 70, he is one batsman who knows how to score big totals and should be looking for a double century.

12:20 PM: So Virat Kohli is out and the fans are delighted to see him. Once again Indian captain has proved why he is way ahead of hiscontemporariess. He was injured but still came out to bat for his side. These are the type of fighters that make a difference for you.

11:55 AM: Both the Indian openers scored a half-century but none of them managed to convert it into a big total. This may hurt India’s chances in the match:

11:35 AM: LUNCH Day 3, India – 193/2. Murali Vijay has to depart for 82 and right before the lunch break. This is something that India didn’t want. The partnership was looking so good but he played a rash stroke. Maybe he didn’t know that it is the last over before lunch or may be he did and still went for it! But, the bigger question is whether Virat Kohli will come out to bat after the break or not? Cheteshwar Pujara is batting on 40 and Indian team would like him to continue. Only 73 runs came in this session but it had a lot to do with Australia’s defensive approach. Their focus was more saving runs and not to pick a wicket.

11:15 AM: Cheteshwar Pujara survived a close call today. Watch the replay here:

11:oo AM: India has gone past the 150-run mark and both the batsmen are looking good at this stage. There have been some close calls but all of them have went in India’s favour. Even the captain is all charged in the dressing room and it looks like he may come out to bat if a wicket falls here.

10:40 AM: This is how the Murali Vijay – the Monk celebrated his half-century in his 50th Test:

10:15 AM: Half-century for Murali Vijay is his 50th Test. This must be a special knock for him. He wasn’t fully fit for the match but still played because the team needed him. This has been the story with Murali Vijay in last couple of years, He is one of the most underrated players in the current team. Always performs when the team needs.

9:48 AM: A slow start for India as both the batsmen have been very watchful. One could understand that given the huge total Australia has put on board, we can expect a similar approach throughout the day.

9:30 AM: Good morning folks! The players are out for an important session. There are cracks on the wicket and some of them have started to open so batting is not going to be easy, especially after the lunch break. Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara should be looking to set small targets and get ahead with them.

9:20 AM: Murali Vijay is out in the field too. He is looking in a good touch. India will need some of those drives today:

9:00 AM: The most important thing to watch today will be whether Virat Kohli will come out to bat or not. If yes, then at what position will bat at? India is still 331 runs behind and they need the services of their best batsman. The hosts certainly missed his energy in the field in last two days.

8:45 AM: Ajinkya Rahane is in the nets, hitting the ball. He’ll have an important role to play since Virat Kohli isn’t fit:

8:35 AM: When Australia scored 451 runs in the first innings, most people thought winning from here would be near-possible for the Indian team and even if they are able to draw the game, it would be a great achievement. But, one knock from KL Rahul has changed the equation. He scored 67 runs from 102 balls providing India with a brisk start before throwing his wicket to Pat Cummins. Murali Vijay on the other end was equally impressive and remained not out on 42 along with Cheteshwar Pujara who was batting on 10.

8:20 AM: Here are some records that were broken on Day 2:

– Glenn Maxwell who was recently appointed as the Kings XI captain became the first player after Shane Watson to score a century for Australia in all the three formats.

-Ravindra Jadeja has picked up 63 wickets in this season so far which is joint highest for Indian in one year. He has equalled the record of legendary Kapil Dev who picked up 63 wickets in 1979/80 season. Ravichandran Ashwin holds the record for most wickets in a season for India. He has picked up 77 wickets in this so far.

8:00 AM: Ravindra Jadeja’s heroics on Day 2 were not limited to the ball. He pulled off an incredible run-out in MS Dhoni style at former Indian captain’s home which made the crowd go crazy. Watch the special moment here:

7:40 AM: Not too long ago, KL Rahul was seen as a hit or miss player for the Indian team. He scored 4 Test centuries without getting about between the scores of 50 and 100 with the highest score of 199. However, this series has been a slightly different story as the Indian opener has scored 4 half-centuries but has failed to convert them into centuries. That’s the difference between good and great players. It is an art that Rahul can learn from Steve Smith who has scored two centuries in this series.

7:20 AM: Ravindra Jadeja has emerged from the shadows of Ravichandran Ashwin. It was said that he is only effective on spinning turns that assist bowlers but he is proving it wrong. Jadeja is picking wickets on flat tracks where even Ashwin is failing.

Playing Conditions: A lot was said about the Ranchi wicket before the match started but it has shut everyone. The pitch has played better than anyone expected. Yes, the odd ball stayed low on Day 2 but run-scoring was comparatively easier than in Pune or Bangalore. India should not be worried about the conditions at this stage as the equation is very simple for them. They have to bat throughout the day and take the score to as far as they can.

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


Earlier in the day, Australian team managed to put a strong total on board with the help of a brilliant inning by Steve Smith. The Australian captain scored 178 runs becoming the first Australian skipper to score two Test centuries in a series in India. He got good support from Glenn Maxwell who scored a century in his return game too. At one stage, the visitors looked set for a massive total but Ravindra Jadeja’s 5-wicket haul ensured all is not lost of the Indian side.

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