IN PICS: Pujara, Saha, Jadeja put India on top

Sport360 staff 19/03/2017

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.

BRIEF SCORES

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.

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Brian Lara backs "outstanding" Virat Kohli

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Lara pointed to his own runs of poor form in his career.

The runs have dried up for India captain Virat Kohli during the Test series against Australia, prompting concerns about his form.

But West Indies legend Brian Lara believes it is part of sport and a few low scores shouldn’t take the sheen away from Kohli’s illustrious career.

“Virat is an outstanding cricketer, he has led the charge. People look at Virat in amazement,” Lara told Sport360 on the sidelines of the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai.

“All sportsmen, in team sports, fail more than they succeed. In football you score less goals than the number of matches you play.

“In cricket I have more scores under 40 than over 40.

“Eventually, Virat is going to taper off when opposing bowlers are going to get a hang of what he does and he is not going to be as successful.

“But that does not make him any lesser as a batsman.”

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LIVE: India vs Australia – Scorecard and commentary

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Can India win the Ranchi Test? [Sportzpics]

Day four of the third Test between India and Australia could possibly be the day that decides the outcome of not only the match but the series.

The two teams are evenly poised going into play on Sunday, with both sides looking to take a first innings lead which is likely to play a crucial role in the result of the game.

India will bank on overnight centurion Cheteshwar Pujara to carry on from where he left off on Saturday, while the Australians will hope to bat as soon as possible.

Don’t miss any of the action from the third Test – with LIVE commentary from Guerilla Cricket below.

Alternatively, you can also follow the LIVE scorecard with text commentary and in-play stats from the match below.

Share your thoughts on the Ranchi Test with us by commenting below, using #360fans on Twitter or getting in touch via Facebook.

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