Cheteshwar Pujara scored his third career double hundred when India probably needed him most to guide them to a position from where they can’t lose the third Test in Ranchi. Pujara batted for an incredible 525 balls and spent 665 minutes at the crease. He has been batting since the last hour of second day of this Test, making it the longest innings by an Indian in terms of balls. (India vs Australia, day 4 Ranchi Test updates)
Concentration, patience and a flawless technique allowed Pujara to build pressure on Australia as he continued to feed mostly on singles with a few interspersed boundaries. India took the first innings lead courtesy Pujara too, when he glanced Cummins off his hips in the 166th over. (India vs Australia, day 4 Ranchi Test scorecard)
Kiwi umpire Chris Gaffaney looked like giving Pujara out after half a shout from Australia when Josh Hazlewood’s bouncer beat his edge but the only occasion when Australia almost looked like getting him was in the 155th over. Nathan Lyon’s lbw appeal was upheld but Pujara reviewed it. Replays showed the ball turning too much and missing leg. Pujara was on 157 then.
Apart from that, Pujara looked unperturbed by Australia’s bowling. His double century was laced with 21 boundaries, 11 of them coming against Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood who were bent on bowling as many bouncers as possible throughout the day. Almost half of his double century --- 91 to be exact --- came through singles.
When Pujara finally took a single past square leg to bring up his double-century, the entire India team applauded from the dressing room balcony as Anil Kumble kept clicking away with even Steve Smith seen applauding it.