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Australia vs India, Ist Test, Day 3: Pujara guides India to strong position

Cheteshwar Pujara was Indias pillar on Day 3

Adelaide, December 8: Cheteshwar Pujara held firm again as India placed themselves in a strong position against Australia after a rain-affected third day of the first Test here on Saturday (December 8).

Pujara and Kohli's partnership of 71 runs for third wicket helped India close the day at 151 for three for a lead of 166 runs. Pujara (40) and Ajinkya Rahane (1) were at crease and now the visitors have a chance to bat Australia out of the game. Here's a break-up of the third day of this Australia vs India Test.

1. Quick end to Aussies innings

1. Quick end to Aussies innings

Australia resumed at their overnight score of 191 for seven, with Travis Head at crease and a handy tail to follow Australia might have hoped to reach close or overhaul India's 250. But the Indian bowlers maintained their discipline and bowled out Australia for 235 for a lead of 15 runs. In fact, Shami, who was off colour yesterday, chipped in with two wickets in as many balls to draw curtain on Australian innings. It was a slender lead but might have given India some mental edge ahead of their second innings.

2. Rahul, Vijay get their act

2. Rahul, Vijay get their act

In the first innings, KL Rahul and M Vijay looked tentative and loose. But on this essay, they left the balls and tried to score only off those deliveries which were there to be exploited. Rahul looked in good touch, playing some excellent shorts. But two strokes stood out. Rahul who had a couple of run ins with Pat Cummins struck the big fast bowler over the cover for a six and followed it up with an elegant cover drive. Overconfidence might have seeped into him as Rahul went for another mighty heave of Josh Hazlewood that ended up in the hands of Tim Paine behind the stumps. But by then Rahul and Vijay had added 63 runs in 19 overs. It was a good platform for the following batsmen to exploit.

3. The Kohli-Pujara stand

3. The Kohli-Pujara stand

Kohli and Pujara milked 71 runs for the third wicket to frustrate Australia. Patience was the key part of their alliance as Nathan Lyon began to use the rough outside the off-stump. There were not too many boundaries or eye-catching shots but just good, old-fashioned Test match batting where the duo eked out singles and doubles to keep the scoreboard ticking. Fortune too favoured Pujara as twice the decision of Nigel Llong to give him out was overturned via the DRS. Pujara was then on 8 and 17 and on both the occasions Lyon was the bowler who left disappointed. Kohli fell to Lyon towards the fag end of the day but India are in a position to stretch their advantage.

4. What to expect on Sunday

4. What to expect on Sunday

It is clear that India have the upper hand - a lead of 166 runs with seven wickets remaining. History too is against the Aussies. They have not chased a 200+ target in Adelaide since 1902 and R Ashwin might have been watching the way Lyon bowled in this innings so far and that developing patch outside the off stump. But Kohli would like to have the cushion of a few more runs, another 100 or 120 more before thinking of bowling again.

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    Story first published: Saturday, December 8, 2018, 15:44 [IST]
    Other articles published on Dec 8, 2018
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