Day 3 was a classic demonstration of Test cricket and both teams were fighting hard to get their nose ahead in this game. Resuming from Day 2, India batted for a whole day and added just 220 runs in 90 overs and reminded of old days when test matches were used to be played in this fashion. By the end of day three still, all three results are possible India are at 360/6 and still, need 91 runs to equal Australians tally. Let’s check some of the talking points of day 3.
Murli Vijay 82 and Dismissal Just Before Lunch
Vijay was batting on 42 when he resumed his business on day 3. He was the one who took initial charge on Australians especially when Australians were not willing to leak even a single. Murli Vijay opened his account with Six over long-on to O’Keefe bowling. It took another five overs for him to reach his fifty in his 50th test match. It was a patient innings from him and it took him 129 balls to reach this mark.
From here onwards he showed attacking intent towards Australians and just during last over before lunch he jumped out to O’Keefe and got stumped. It could have been altogether a different story if he could have resisted that final over before lunch. Though Murli Vijay was not very much pleased with his innings but still, it was a solid and important contribution at the top. In his post day interview Vijay said:
“I would not rate my innings as a ‘good’ innings, but I fought there and that’s what matters in the end. Pujara and me built up a partnership initially. If I could have gone through that session, it would have been great for me.”
“KL (Rahul) was batting really well. I wanted to just feed off his energy. Partnerships are very important on these kinds of wickets. I wanted to play tight cricket and today I wanted to push myself a little harder. I got hit on the elbow again. I will have to pace my innings a little more carefully. I played a loose shot.”
Murli Vijay added “Run-scoring was very difficult in the morning and to be honest Australia bowled really well and in good areas, they kept consistently outside off stump. we had to stick around there. That was the plan when Pujara and me were batting. If I could have gone through the lunch, it would have been a different story altogether.”
Cheteshwar Pujara Century
As rightly said by Vijay, Pujara was rock solid today and he proved to all that his style of cricket is still unaffected by limited overs cricket. By the end of the day, he was batting on 130 after facing 328 deliveries. Cheteshwar Pujara showed a lot of intent and application while tackling Australian spin and pace attack. He reminded everyone and even commentators of yester years. His extreme concentration and application were applauded throughout the day by commentators. He played around bowlers with singles and doubles and waited patiently for opportunities to score his 17 boundaries. There was one interesting moment which needs to be talked about when Australians took a referral. Have a look, in 58th over on Nathan Lyons first ball Cheteshwar Pujara nicked a ball to his pads. Umpire did not give it out and Smith went into referral which eventually ruled out.
That's bat first & then Pad – https://t.co/FdoSLqUdZP
— VDream sports (@vdreamsports) March 18, 2017
During post day interview Murli Vijay applauded Pujaras efforts, he said:
“Cheteshwar Pujara was rock solid today, and hopefully he can put up a good show, tomorrow as well. It will be great for us in the first session and I think he will do it for us.”
Pat Cummins Four Wickets
Cummins was the pick of the bowlers today for Australia, he took three wickets today and in all 4 wickets by the end of the days play. He was the one who kept bowling intelligently in right areas with good pace, mixing it up with slow bouncers and yorkers which kept troubling Indian batsmen constantly. he picked up Kohli, Rahane, and Ashwin today. He was certainly lucky in two of the three instances wherein Kohli and Rahane gave up their wickets by playing loose shots. Kohli got out at second slip while chasing a wide half volley without any feet movement. Rahane tried ramping a bouncer which if would have left alone could be resulted in a wide ball.
The 3rd test is still open for all three results and Day 4 will surely witness another great day of test cricket. Stay tuned for day 4 analysis.
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