What a roller coaster this Ranchi Test match has been for last 5 days. It was full of up’s & down’s, but the team who would be breathing a sigh of relief at the end of the game would be the visiting team. It was India’s game after the tea on day 4 and the effort Australia has put in to save this game should be applauded.
After winning the toss on a track that was assumed to be a rank turner, it was expected that Australia would bat 1st and try to do something similar to what they did in Pune. They had an extra part time spin all-rounder in their rank in the form of Glen Maxwell. Assuming all such things India had played the 1st session of the match excellently and the visitor was on the back foot. The scorecard at lunch on day 1 was 89/3. After seeing the back of 3 Australian players India did not stop here and soon the scorecard was 140/4. After this, the match was taken away from India with Maxwell and Smith putting a herculean effort in front of NO.1 Test bowlers(Ashwin and Jadeja). Both the batsman played with complete perfection and there was no margin of error from both the batsman.
In the meantime, both the batsman got their respective hundreds and It was 1st Test Hundred for Maxwell. The energy level of team India appeared to be low and one of the major reason was the absence of their captain Virat Kohli. While trying to save a boundary Virat had injured his shoulder and was out of the field for the complete day.Soon the news came from BCCI that the injury is not that serious and he will certainly come out to bat.Australia was bowled out in the 2nd session of the 2nd day with SIR Jadeja being the pick of the bowlers. He picked up 5 wickets and was responsible for a runout.
After Australias 450, India certainly needed their batsman to come up with something special because India’s batting had not been in its peak form during the series. Certainly, Indian batsman took the responsibility and the Score Card also suggested the same. At the end of day 2, the score was 120/1.
India needed to put up a big 1st innings total in order to put Australian Batsman under pressure and also India did not want to bat again. But certainly things had not gone India’s way with The Comeback Bowler Patt Cummins Picking up 4 wickets and the scorecard at end of day 3 was 360/6. But the Positive aspect from India’s perspective was that Pujara was still at the crease.
At the start of day 4 Australian bowlers came out with a fresh mind and gave their everything on the field but no credits can be taken away from Pujara. He batted exceptionally well for his 202 and took India to a commanding Position. Many records were broken during this marathon inning of Pujara but one such record which proved that he is the classic Test Match Batsman is that he broke Dravid’s record of spending max. time on the crease and facing max. no of balls in an innings.
Also not to forget Saha’s hundred. He had come out to bat in a difficult situation when India was in trouble and he had very well complemented The Saurashtra batsman. With help of Saha, Pujara and a quickfire 50 from Jadeja India had posted a big target and now it was all on the Indian Bowlers to take India over the line. It is not that Australia did not try other methods to get India out. Pattinson was sledging Saha when he was continuously leaving the bouncers bowled at him and he was asking him to play those deliveries but the presence of Cool minded Pujara at the other end had helped Saha a lot in facing those verbal exchanges.
8 overs were remaining at the end of day’s play after India’s declaration and it was expected that India will come out all guns blazing at the Australian side. A similar thing happened, Warner faced yet another failure and Lyon the nightwatchman was also out cheaply and that led to stumps at day 4.
India were favorites at the start of day 5 of Ranchi Test and with the pitch helping the bowling style Of Jadeja, India could smell a victory but Australia batted beautifully. Even after the wickets of Smith and Renshaw they showed patience and composure and batted for the session. Also, on the other hand, India gave out their 100% with fast bowlers trying their everything, Jadeja tried a lot, there were reviews which did not go India’s way and at the end, the partnership was broken but it was too late. After the tea, the wicket of Shaun Marsh fell. In no time India saw the back of Maxwell but it was too late and the both the captains decided to call the match a DRAW.
So that’s it for the 3rd Ranchi Test match. Will be remembered as a match of comebacks as well as for Pujara. Now the scene shifts to the most beautiful cricket stadiums in the country i.e. the series decider would be played in Dharamshala and we can expect another exciting game ahead of the much awaited IPL Season 10.
For more interesting stories, tips and techniques with regards to sports please sign up: