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India vs Australia: Pujara Stands Tall Again As India Stretch Lead to 166 at Adelaide

Cricketnext Staff |December 9, 2018, 1:44 AM IST
India vs Australia: Pujara Stands Tall Again As India Stretch Lead to 166 at Adelaide

A 71-run partnership between Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara for the third wicket ensured India ended Day 3 of the Adelaide Test on 151/3 with a lead of 166 runs on Saturday (December 8).

Pujara and Kohli’s partnership – their 11th fifty-run stand in Test cricket – steadied the ship for the visitors after they lost both their openers Murali Vijay and KL Rahul and they will be in a good position to build a big lead on Day 4.

Ajinkya Rahane came out to bat after the Indian captain was dismissed and was able to see out the remaining overs alongside India's No 3 without too much fuss.

On the back of his 123 in the first innings, Pujara continued to be his solid self but was twice handed a reprieve thanks to some smart reviewing after the umpire adjudged him out. He was given out on an appeal for caught behind off Lyon but the decision was overturned on review when neither UltraEdge nor HotSpot recorded any contact on the bat. He was then given out LBW off Lyon again but had the decision reversed on review when Ball Tracking showed that the ball would have gone over the stumps - a decision that left the off-spinner shaking his head in disbelief.

Pujara ended the day on 40 and will look to play another solid knock after India’s opening pair started well but could not convert their starts into big scores.

Kohli was the more subdued batsman, to begin with, but was always looking for runs and proceeded to play a few more shots once he settled down. However, the Indian skipper was dismissed for 34 towards the end of the day's play when he edged one onto his pads to forward short leg off Nathan Lyon, who had enjoyed a frustrating day till that point despite bowling well.

Rahul and Vijay looked to play patiently at the beginning of the second innings slowly but when Rahul got his eye in, he proceeded to take the attack to the bowlers.

Dismissed for just 2 in the first innings, Rahul showed plenty of positive intent and saw off Starc and Hazlewood's opening spell before taking to Pat Cummins. He slammed a six over deep cover off Australia's first-change bowler and played a square drive for four in the same over and looked likely to score at least a half-century. It wasn’t meant to be, however, as Josh Hazlewood had Rahul caught behind for 44.

Rahul's dismissal came right after pace spearhead Mitchell Starc dismissed Murali Vijay for 18. The Tamil Nadu opener, who was recalled to the side after being dropped in the middle of the series against England earlier this year, could not do much to make a case for himself and was out for 18 chasing a wide delivery that was well caught by Peter Handscomb at second slip.

The double strike in the second session ended a 63-run opening stand after the home side were bowled out for 235 in the rain-hit first session.

Protecting India's first innings total of 250, the visiting team’s bowlers had to bowl with plenty of discipline to ensure they ended the innings with a 15-run lead.

However, getting through Australia's final three wickets saw them give away 44 runs after the home side resumed the day on 191/7 following a rain-delayed start. India seamer Mohammed Shami will have a chance to complete his hat-trick in the second innings after he got the last two wickets of Travis Head (72) and Hazlewood (0) in successive balls after Starc was the first player to depart caught by Rishabh Pant off Jasprit Bumrah, who finished the innings with figures of 3/47.

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