#INDvAUS 3rd Test: Pujara gives fitting reply to Australia with 11th Test ton, Kohli disappoints – While Kohli has amassed 1,246 runs coming into this Test, Pujara was closing in on Kohli. He has garnered 1,057 runs and went on to add 109* to his tally to help India give a fitting reply to Australia’s first innings total of 451.
Cheteshwar Pujara acknowledges the applause of the fans after scoring his century on Saturday (Reuters)
Cheteshwar Pujara went unperturbed even as he saw his captain Virat Kohli last only 23 deliveries and 37 minutes to score his 11th Test century in 47th game, and fourth of the season in 12 matches.
The 29-year-old Saurashtra batsman has been India’s second highest run-getter behind Kohli this home season that began in September against New Zealand. While Kohli has amassed 1,246 runs coming into this Test, Pujara was closing in on Kohli. He has garnered 1,057 runs and went on to add 109* to his tally to help India give a fitting reply to Australia’s first innings total of 451.
India lost two wickets in the session between lunch and tea for 110 runs. At 303/4, India trail Australia by 148 runs at the tea interval. Giving Pujara company was Karun Nair on 13*
Resuming the Day 3 second session at 193/2, India lost Kohli to a loose shot in the first over of the second new ball that was taken by Australia captain Steve Smith as soon as it was available. Kohli, who showed little discomfort in his brief stay, picked up his runs in ones while defending and pushing the ball to the outfield without playing any extravagant shot.
However, an intended drive off Cummins took the edge and flew to second slip for Steve Smith to accept it without any problem.
On the other hand, Pujara was not troubled at all, playing the spinners off the back foot and flicking the spinners while driving the medium-pacers, particularly Cummins on the one-side with rich rewards.
Pujara raised 51 for the fourth wicket with Ajinkya Rahane. The two had only in the previous Test shared a match-winning stand of 118 on a under-prepared Bengaluru pitch. Rahane used his feet well for a boundary against off-spinner Nathan Lyon while hooking pacer Josh Hazlewood for four. However, he brought about his own dismissal when playing an uppercut against Cummins and ending up edging it to Matthew Wade’s gloves.
Pujara duly completed his century with an elegant cover drive off Cummins for four. This brought up his fourth Test century of the season – all coming at centres hosting their first match. After Indore, his hometown Rajkot and Visakhapatnam, Pujara brought up yet another century in Ranchi’s first Test. This was also his second Test hundred against Australia.
Brief scores: At tea: Australia 451 vs India 303/4 in 99 overs (C Pujara 109*, K Nair 13*)