Cheteshwar Pujara on monumental innings: Never thought I would play 525 balls

Australia and India both teams have won one match each and this is the 3rd Test.

199 Partnership between Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha – the highest seventh-wicket stand for India against Australia, beating 132 between Hemu Adhikari and Vijay Hazare in Adelaide in 1947-48.

The frustration was clearly there for everyone to see, as Aussie paceman Josh Hazlewood had an angry exchange of words with the India wicketkeeper, early on Sunday.

Ranchi: Australia have passed a searching examination of their mettle by overcoming India’s spin masters on Ranchi’s so called craters of doom to secure a backs to the wall draw in the third Test.

“They were four down at lunch, credit to them that they did not lose another wicket in the following session”. 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. Ravindra Jadeja picked up 10 wickets in the match, that is the positive India can draw from this Test apart from Pujara and Saha’s priceless knocks to see India into a position of strength.

The left-right batting combine of Handscomb and Marsh outmanoeuvered the Indian bowlers during their 232-minute resistance which was broken late in the final session.

Pujara was batting on 190, having played the longest innings by an Indian in terms of balls faced after almost 11 hours in the middle.

Marsh made 53, the duo frustrating India for almost four hours with a dour 124-run stand to shatter the hosts’ chances of going 2-1 up in the four-test series. Against David Warner, Jadeja landed one on the rough.

Smith, who scored an unbeaten 178 in the first innings, tried to pad away a vicious turning delivery from Jadeja but it spun from outside leg to rattle the right-handed batsman’s off stump.

Rahul brought up his fourth fifty in five innings although once again he could not convert as he nicked behind to Matthew Wade to give Cummins his first Test wicket since November 2011. First they had to tame a rampant Indian team which had their tails up after rolling Matt Renshaw and Smith in the space of four balls. “450 was not enough to win this match”, Smith, who scored 21 runs in the second innings, said after the match. There was no need to take risks and the Indian duo did precisely the same.

“I think it was much needed for the team”. The previous longest innings for India against Australia was 202 overs in Adelaide in 1985-86. “Pujara is a guy who has the game for it, because he takes a lot of pressure and his game is such that you can depend on him and play your natural game”.

Renshaw, blessed with natural patience and a student’s age, lasted till stumps, rebutting the antics of Virat Kohli, who has made up in theatrics what he has lacked in runs.

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