India set Australia 188 to winBy Kelly Sanders Mar 07, 2017
India started of the day beautifully, wrapping up the Australian first innings for 276, managing a lead of 87.
The hosts were 213 for four at stumps, leading Australia by 126 runs in their second innings after the tourists' hopes of building a big lead were undermined by an oustanding bowling performance by Ravindra Jadeja.
Resuming at the overnight score of 213/4, Pujara and Ajinkaya Rahane batted steadily for the first half hour or so. Saha, who had survived Starc's hat-trick delivery, had to step up and take India's lead to at least over 200.
India were cruising at 238-4 today when Starc turned the match on its head. A wicket before that would have been a bonus, as they would have banked on Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood to do the damage with the new ball.
Ajinkya Rahane (52) and Cheteshwar Pujara (92) continued where they left off on Monday and with the Indian vice-captain reaching a half-century in trying conditions, it seemed India would dominate the morning session.
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The Indian opener, who top-scored in the first innings with a determined 90, was scalped by Steven O'Keefe with Steve Smith taking a stunning diving catch to his right at slips, immediately after drinks break.
In spite of being outwitted by the Australian spinner in the first innings as well as in Pune Test, Pujara felt that there is nothing wrong with the Indian batting line-up. Their intent was clear as they rotated the strike efficiently, took on the fielders, picked up quick singles and the right-hand, left-hand combination of Abhinav Mukund and Rahul frustrated Starc. "But we will put up a better show in the next one", Pujara said. In the 118th over of the Australia innings, moments before his dismissal, Starc had a DRS reviewed ruled in his favour. Steve O'Keefe and Nathan Lyon also have registered their career-best figures in this series. Rahul departed after a 45-run stand for the second wicket with Pujara.
Wriddhiman Saha finished unbeaten on 20 - his first two scoring shots were a four and a six - and combined with Ishant Sharma (6) to add a valuable 16 runs for the last wicket.
Skipper Kohli started off from where Rahul had left and he looked to keep the pressure on the bowlers.
"This was the time when they were already five [two] down and if we had got another wicket it would put some pressure on them".
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