A double century from Cheteshwar Pujara and a century from Wriddhiman Saha helped India take control of the third Test against Australia at Ranchi on Sunday.
Heading into play on day four, it looked like the match was evenly poised, but a brilliant partnership from Pujara and Saha – which yielded 199 runs – gave India the upper hand.
Pujara batted on and on, facing 525 deliveries for his 202 [the longest ever Test innings by an Indian batsman in terms of balls faced]. This was the Saurashtra batsman’s third double ton in Test cricket and his second against Australia.
Pujara was ably supported by Saha who once again showed why he is considered the number one wicket-keeper in India in the longest format of the game. He hit eight fours and one six during his innings of 117.
India would finally declare on 603/9 after Ravindra Jadeja slammed a quickfire unbeaten half-century lower down the order.
The Australian bowlers had to toil hard, with Pat Cummins being the most impressive with four wickets to his name. Left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe bowled 77 overs to pick up figures of 3/199.
The misery did not end there for the visitors as Jadeja took the wickets of David Warner and nightwatchman Nathan Lyon before the end of play.
Australia ended the day on 23/2 in their second innings, trailing India by 129 runs.
Australia 451 all out [Smith 178*, Maxwell 104, Jadeja 5/124] and 23/2 [Warner 14, Jadeja 2/6] trail India 603/9 [Pujara 202, Saha 117, Cummins 4/106] by 129 runs.