Pujara helps India to narrow deficit with Australia

Solenn Plantier
Mars 20, 2017

He, along with Wriddhiman Saha - who posted his third century, produced a 199-run stand to demoralise Aussie spirit. So the partnership was going to be more about the time they spent than runs.

Pujara became the first Indian batsman to face 500 deliveries in a Test innings, spending more than 11 hours at the crease for his marathon effort on the penultimate day of the contest.

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. This was the first time since 1994 that Australia were kept on the field for 200 overs or beyond (against South Africa).

On India's chances, Pujara is confident that the spinners will bowl really well on the day five pitch. They did well to keep the scoring rate down but no wickets for two sessions seemed to have worn them down physically and mentally.

However both batsmen benefited from the decision review system after successfully overturning lbw calls in the morning session. There onwards, he was chanceless. "Looking back, that's the flawless audition last week", Cummins told ABC Grandstand before play on Sunday.

"He bats for a long period of time".

Approaching his 50, Saha broke the shackles and stepped out to hit Nathan Lyon over midwicket.

Both batsmen fell soon after tea in bid to accelerate. Saha also got a reprieve on 51 when Australia wicketkeeper Matthew Wade spilled an edge.

Like history suggests they might, but which the lessons learned from recent past failures in Asia, the preparatory work undertaken in Dubai prior to landing on the subcontinent, and the stunning win in the opening Test at Pune dared to hint they no longer will. Having already left his mark in the match with a five-wicket-haul during Australia's innings, Jadeja now made it count with the bat and ensured India's lead surpassed 150. The two were however helped by DRS on four occasions. Jadeja chipped in with a brisk fifty, before striking twice with the ball to leave Australia reeling at 23/2. Then they fought hard for the first three innings at Bangalore before their first really poor display of the series, collapsing in a heap batting last.

The rough on the off for left-handers while batting at the Pavilion End is going to be a concern as could be seen in Ravindra Jadeja's dismissal of David Warner.

However, Jadeja had some other plans as he bowled Warner first and then in the last over of the day, struck once again to take the wicket of night-watchman Nathon Lyon to put the hosts in the driver's seat.

Other reports by CampDesrEcrues

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