Australia bowling coach David Saker said the contest was interestingly poised after a hard-fought day.
Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin troubled Marsh in the only over he bowled before lunch, giving an idea of the enormity of the task lying ahead for the tourists over the final two sessions. Pujara scored 202 while Saha put up 117 runs to take India to a total of 609/3 declared.
Cheteshwar Pujara’s marathon double hundred complemented by Wriddhiman Saha’s dogged century put India in complete command with an imposing total of 603 for 9 against Australia on the fourth day of the third cricket Test on Sunday. “It’s a case of obviously applying ourselves much like Pujara and Saha did today”. “Going to have to come up with a plan to combat Jadeja but we’ve worked on that”.
Pujara hit a record breaking double century as Australia lost crucial wickets in the last overs of play on day four. But at 23/2 at stumps on Day Four, still needing 129 to make India bat again, Australia have not only surrendered the advantage but are now hoping for a miracle to not lose the Test.
Coming over the wicket to the right-hander, Smith chose to pad away another one of the balls, but this time, he didn’t get the foot forward enough – clearly Smith hasn’t quite mastered the art of kicking the balls away as well as Cheteshwar Pujara has – and the ball went past his front foot to smash into off-stump.
“Once the ball gets a little bit softer it plays really well”.
“Workload is fine, bowlers have to bowl – that’s their job, they’re here to bowl a lot of overs, that’s what Test cricket is about”, former Test great Brett Lee said on Star Sports.
Saha said India would look to continue with the momentum created in the last session. Lyon weathered his spinning finger, Steve O’Keefe kept bowling his overs in a pursuit for wickets, Cummins bent his back for short deliveries and Hazlewood kept asking questions.
Standing umpires Ian Gould and Chris Gaffney spoke to Kohli and Jadeja after the wicket but it’s unlikely the Indian pair will be reprimanded given what happened during the second Test in Bengaluru, where no player was sanctioned despite several heated exchanges between the two sides. His only moment of nervousness came when he was given out leg-before off Lyon in the 155th over.
On the pitch, Saha said, “Some balls are turning and some keep straight”.
When Australia belatedly ended the Pujara-Saha stand, they were given another insult by Jadeja, who whacked a whirlwind 54 off 55 balls.