After a majestic 178* from Steven Smith and first Test hundred from Glenn Maxwell had lifted Australia to 451, India fought back with a solid opening stand on the second day in Ranchi to finish the proceedings at 120 for 1.
Murli Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara made sure India do not suffer any other blow, after having already lost KL Rahul for 67, as they safely negotiated impressive Australia’s bowlers. But India are still 331 runs in deficit on a surface that is predicted to get worse for batting as the play will go on.
Earlier in the day, Smith and Maxwell continued from where they left off the previous day, taking easy singles when available and pouncing on the boundary opportunity as it comes. Glenn Maxwell quickly reached to his maiden Test century, vindicating selectors’ decision to recall him to the Test team for the first time in three years, before one Jadeja delivery flattened rattled his furniture. Wade was also accounted by Jadeja, just before lunch.
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Cummins lasted only two balls but O’Keefe remained in skipper’s company till lunch.
Resuming the play after lunch, Australia’s lower order quickly perished: Cummins fell prey to a hook shot, Lyon to Jadeja’s bounce and Hazlewood was run out, only to leave Smith unbeaten at the other end.
Glenn Maxwell, when asked about his skipper’s knock, ran out of words to describe Smith’s brilliance with the bat.
“He probably lifts the team to another level because he makes the game look so easy,” Maxwell said.
“We watch him play and everyone’s in awe of the way he goes about it, he does it in such a different, unique way and he owns that. He doesn’t care what people say about his technique.”He knows he has his technique doubters, but when the bloke’s got 19 Test tons and averages over 60 I don’t think you can knock it too much.”
INDvAUS, 3rd Test, Match Summary:
India 120 for 1 (Rahul 67, Vijay 42*) trail Australia 451 (Smith 178*, Maxwell 104, Jadeja 5-124) by 331 runs
INDvAUS, 3rd Test, Match Line-ups:
Australia XI: Warner, Renshaw, Smith (c), SMarsh, Handscomb, Maxwell, Wade (wk), Cummins, O’Keefe, Lyon, Hazlewood
India XI: Rahul, Vijay, Pujara, Kohli (c), Rahane, Nair, Ashwin, Saha (wk), Jadeja, Umesh, Sharma
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