India in sight of improbable victory over Australia

19 March 2017 01:08

India subjected Australia to a day of unrewarding toil in Ranchi, with a double century for Cheteshwar Pujara and a hundred from Wriddhiman Saha on day four of the third Test.

The pair shared a 199-run stand as the touring attack failed to take a wicket in either the morning or afternoon sessions.

Pujara's 202, compiled over 525 deliveries, was the third double hundred of his career and second against the Baggy Greens, while Saha's third Test ton provided steely support.

India resumed 91 runs shy of Australia's first-innings but declared with a healthy advantage at 603 for nine, and then struck twice to leave the tourists wobbling.

Ravindra Jadeja, having earlier chipped in with 54 not out, was responsible for both, bowling David Warner in the sixth over and then sending back nightwatchman Nathan Lyon to bring on stumps.

A score of 23 for two, and a deficit of 129 going into the final day, leaves India pushing for a victory that had once seemed highly improbable.

Australia will have plenty of tired legs in the pavilion, with Steve O'Keefe having sent down a mammoth 77 overs, returning a manful three for 199, while seamers Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins bowled 44 and 39 respectively.

Matt Renshaw will restart on seven not out, with captain Steve Smith due to join him.

Source: PA