IndvAus, 2nd Test: Pujara, Rihane lead India fightback

Cheteshwar Pujara

Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara steadied India ship on day three of the second Test match in Bagalruru, as the pair combined for an unbeaten 93-run stand to carry the hosts to a lead of 126 with six wickets still intact.

Against the recent flow of events, India managed to keep their hopes of regaining the Bordar-Gavaskar trophy alive courtesy a solid partnership that spanned the entire final session of play. India finished the day at 213-4 and already 126 ahead on a surface where run-scoring has been incredibly tough.

At stumps, Pujara was unbeaten on 79 and Rahane was not out on 40.

The first session of the day belonged to India in which Ravindra Jadeja ran through Australia’s lower order to complete a six-wicket haul and keep their lead within 90 runs, and then the opening pair Rahul and Mukhud got India off to a brisk start. Australia fought back in the session second by claiming 4 key wickets, including that of Virat Kohli amidst DRS drama. But India won the final session and day by adding 91 runs to their tally without putting a foot wrong.

KL Rahul’s watchful 51 were helpful in setting India on a right track. Steve O’Keefe accounted Rahul after he edged one to Steven Smith, who took a brilliant catch in slips. His fellow opener A Mukund was bowled by Josh Hazlewood for 16.

Virat Kohli fell amidst DRS controversy. Umpire Nigel Llong adjudged Kohli out LBW on a ball that stayed low. Kohli immediately asked for a review, hoping that his bat contact would comfortably save him, but upon forensic review, the third Umpire Richard Kettleborough could not find any conclusive evidence to overturn the original decision. It seemed that the ball hit the pad and bat almost simultaneously, Kettleborough had no other option but to stick with the call made by the on-field umpire.

With two days still remaining in this Test and India looking to further build on their lead, Australia will have repeat the day one performance to stay

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