Ranchi Test: Pujara strikes third career Test double century on day 4

21 March, 2017, 06:02 | Author: Valerie Burke

Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb used their bats like magic wands and batted out 62 overs that included a wicketless second session to force a draw for Australia that seemed very unlikely at the start of the final day in Ranchi. We will look at our positives and we are happy with where we brought the game to after just one innings.

After a fractured foot ended spearhead Mitchell Starc's India tour, the selectors took a gamble of sorts by plucking Cummins out of domestic cricket and planting him into the team for the third test against India.

The effort had helped India declare on 603/9 after Australia had posted 451 in their first innings.

This was Pujara's second century-partnership in the match as he and Saha ran Australia ragged at the Jharkhand State Cricket Association Stadium.

Whatever the pitch conditions - barring it being a raging turner, like the one in Pune - what India need for this Test match, is an extra bowler.

Despite Marsh's eventual departure to a short-leg catch off Jadeja and Glenn Maxwell's bat-pad to Ashwin, both teams can therefore still win the series when it concludes in Dharamsala next week.

India continued to carry on play seeking a mental gain and they were rewarded with the wicket of Glenn Maxwell (2), who inside edged a delivery from Ashwin to silly mid on and with 12 minutes to go for stumps, Virat Kohli chose to call it off, ending the game in a draw. While others, hopefully the majority, will call it engrossing display of Test cricket.

Ishant Sharma and Jadeja dealt Australia late blows in the morning session to increase their stranglehold on the match.

"They [Handscomb and Marsh] backed their defence for long periods of time and to see the game out for as long as they did was an outstanding performance".

"(We are) Going to have to come up with a plan to combat Jadeja but we've worked on that and you'll probably see it tomorrow I would think", Lehmann said.

"Sometimes I feel really bad for him that people don't understand his importance so much in this team. I thought we did that really well together today and I really enjoyed being out there with [Handscomb]". "I wanted to play more shots but I had to restrict myself because we wanted to build a partnership and I did not want to give my wicket away".

"You don't take much notice of it". "Very satisfying seeing Kohli out cheaply.At the moment we have got the better of him but we know such a good player can bounce back at any time", said Saker, who added that the ongoing game is "evenly poised".

Kohli also chose to highlight the work put in Chesteshwar Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha for putting India in a position of strength during the Test. Renshaw in particular was impressive once again, soaking pressure by batting outside off to negate Jadeja's effect from the rough.

Asked whether he would like to change his approach and bat long in Tests like Pujara he said: "I would love to bat that long".

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