Pujara, Saha frustrate Australia as India close on lead

Pujara, Saha frustrate Australia as India close on lead

Pat Cummins' second debut, after nearly a gap of 6 years saw him trouble the Indian batsmen with some smart bowling. First session: 73/1 in 30.4 overs.

Interestingly, it was Maxwell's spectacular fielding that kept Kohli on strike when the Aussies was targeting the Indian skipper through spearhead Pat Cummins.

India were led by a gutsy Cheteshwar Pujara (130 not out) who batted the whole day after India resumed on 120/1 on the third morning.

The first drop was certainly hit in line by a ball straightening towards the middle of the stumps, but umpire Chris Gaffaney turned down the Aussies' appeal.

In a childish but entertaining game of tit for tat, Kohli mocked Australia for burning their reviews only to be on the receiving end later when Glenn Maxwell made light of his shoulder injury after making a diving save on the boundary. Against him too, Vijay and Pujara were happy defending and waiting patiently for loose deliveries. There are still other back-up bowlers. Wriddhiman Saha was giving him the company on 18, having forged a 32-run stand for the unbroken seventh wicket.

He jagged four wickets, including the prized scalp of Kohli, in a performance up there with his bag of six against South Africa. But it was great Test cricket that was enthralling to watch.

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Australia's bowling coach David Saker said he did not believe Kohli's DRS gesture was aimed at the visitors. Cummins got another wicket as Rahane departed for 14.

In the skill and speed department Cummins has lost absolutely nothing since his only Test, six years and umpteen injuries ago. Playing only in his second Test after a gap of nearly five and half years, Cummins bent his back and extracted steep bounce even from a slow surface.

Figures of 4/59 were more effective than they looked, and Saker was all praise for him. "I thought last night he bowled particularly well but today he backed that up. He performed above expectations".

Next in, Rahane looked good during his brief stay but failed to repeat the kind of partnership which he and Pujara displayed to save the second Test in Bengaluru. Pujara has spent some 533 minutes at the crease.

Post lunch Australian pacer Cummins dominated the sessions with his pace bouncers, taking four wickets, thereby preventing India from reaching a big score.

Bowling to Murali Vijay, who had recently passed 50, Nathan Lyon found some turn and bounce, with the opener edging on to his pad and into the hands of Peter Handscomb at short leg.