Dwelling on his crucial partnership with Pujara, Saha said, “Pujara told me to break it up and think of small, small partnerships of 10-20 runs”.
Just in the previous over, Sharma set it up brilliantly to dismiss the left-handed Aussie opener that saw the first banter of the day.
In all, Pujara faced 525 balls and hit 21 fours, batting for a staggering 675 minutes. O’Keefe did a serviceable job, while Nathan Lyon’s callused fingers, restricting him to a mere 46 overs, cost Australia both manpower and penetration.
Defending solidly and driving with fluency, authority and footwork, Pujara, batting on 130, was at the heart of an Indian fightback at the JSCA Stadium here on Saturday.
Smith, the only two-time century maker on both sides, is averaging 87 and Renshaw is averaging 43 with a top score of 68. There was a puff of dust as the ball turned to breach is defence -Warner could only see his stumps in an utter mess.
Vijay’s wicket before lunch proved a shot in the arm for Australia, which was badly looking for wickets in the first session.
The wicketkeeper revealed that the seventh-wicket partnership that put India in control was planned such that the first target was to take the lead and then accelerate. Pujara shows good defence against Cummins’ pace.
“Obviously we’ve got to save the game and worry about tomorrow first”.
Meanwhile, Rahane, who has been trying to settle down at the crease stealing singles, committed a blunder. “He’s a fine “leaver” of the ball, handles the short ball well”.
He made clever use of his feet against the spinners and never allowed them to settle down on a wicket that aided some turn while he was extremely choosy against the likes of Cummins and Josh Hazlewood. The hosts found themselves at a spot of bother at 276/4.
Coming over the wicket to the right-hander, Smith made a decision to pad away another one of the balls, but this time, he didn’t get the foot forward enough – clearly Smith hasn’t quite mastered the art of kicking the balls away as well as Cheteshwar Pujara has – and the ball went past his front foot to smash into off-stump.
India still trail Australia by 148 runs with six first innings wickets in hand.
He cut Lyon, lofted Keefe, and sliced Hazelwood for boundaries.
Hazelwood did the trick in the 108th over as he bowled out Nair (23).
2001 The last time a bowler bowled 75 or more overs in an innings – Ray Price against South Africa in Bulawayo.
India: 603/9 declared in 210 overs.
Then there’s Peter Handscomb who went into this series with a Bradmanesque Test average of 99.75 on the back of two centuries and two half-centuries in seven visits, three of them not out.