India wrested control of the third Test against Australia in Ranchi on Day 4 with the help of some brilliant batting display from Chesteshwar Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha, backed up by Ravindra Jadeja’s magnificent cameos with both bat and ball. (Day 4 highlights)
Pujara and Saha set up a 199-run stand for the seventh wicket, with the duo scoring 202 and 117, respectively. Jadeja chipped in with a brisk fifty, before striking twice with the ball to leave Australia reeling at 23/2. The visitors trail India by 129 runs ahead of the final day’s play. (SCORECARD)
Here is a look at the key moments from Day 4:
Two wicketless sessions
The Ranchi pitch is probably one of the flattest in India right now but it still requires discipline and skill to not concede a wicket over two sessions. Australia threw everything at India. The pacers tried bouncers, deliveries that reversed and even change of pace, while the spinners toiled away, bowling a testing line. Cheteshwar Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha, however, wore everything down to not only score vital runs but also frustrate the Australians to the extent that they took two desperate reviews and failed to get a result.
India call it right
Speaking of reviews, India would be proud that on a day where everything went their way, the DRS too was on their side. Pat Cummins thought he had Saha plumb and so did the umpire but India reviewed it to find that the ball was going down leg. When Pujara was given leg-before off Nathan Lyon in the 155th over, the review showed the ball had turned too much.
The 199-run stand
Both Pujara and Saha are not naturally blessed with strokes. So the partnership was going to be more about the time they spent than runs. Still, they added 199 runs for the sixth wicket to put Australia on the back-foot by merely grinding it out. Saha’s body was subjected to a few blows and Pujara was content blocking away, and the combined effect took such a toll on Australia that by the time they were done batting out two sessions, the tourists had given in.
Jadeja’s sword routine
Ravindra Jadeja enjoyed every moment of toying with a hapless bowling to score a 55-ball 54 that contained five boundaries and two sixes before putting on a sword show for his teammates. He returned wearing shades to first dislodge David Warner’s off-stump with a ball that spun viciously after pitching on the rough. He struck again next over with a drifter that spun just enough to beat Nathan Lyon’s defence and had the stadium in a tizzy.