WATCH | #INDvAUS, 3rd Test: Ravindra Jadeja gets 5 as Australia are bowled out for 451 – Steve Smith bats through for the visitors; India off to a steady start with the bat.
Indian bowler Ravindra Jadeja (C) celebrates with teammates after he dismissed unseen Australian batsman Nathan Lyon during the second day of the third Test at the Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) Stadium Complex in Ranchi on March 17, 2017 (AFP)
Australia captain Steve Smith did not wait for the third umpire Nigel Llong to make a decision for a run out appeal against No. 11 Josh Hazlewood. It was a smart piece of fielding by KL Rahul at short fine leg after Smith flicked left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja and sprinted for two runs.
Rahul’s throw to Jadeja, who flicked the ball on to the stumps caught Hazlewood just inches short. Perhaps Smith was declaring at Australia’s score of 451 if Hazlewood was being adjudged not out. With Smith remaining unbeaten on 178, Australia have sensed that they have batted India out of the game.
Their last wicket fell an hour and 12 minutes after the second session resumed, adding 50 runs to their Day 2 lunch total of 401/7 and losing the remaining three wickets – one each to Ravindra Jadeja and Umesh Yadav and one to that run out courtesy Jadeja-Rahul combine. Having batted for a day and a half to post 451, Australia have taken themselves to a position from where they can only apply pressure on India, who are crippled by the shoulder injury to their prolific batsman this season, Virat Kohli.
India replied with 20 without loss at tea from eight overs with Rahul looking more positive. Rahul, the man in form with three fifties from the four innings in this series prior to this one, picked up three delightful boundaries off Patrick Cummins including two in the final over before tea, the placement through covers being the stand-out shot.
While the entire Australian innings was all about Smith, it was the partnerships that he stitched together along the way that were crucial. He raised 51 for the eighth wicket with Steve O’Keefe, who helped himself to 25.
Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja was the best bowler for India along with Umesh Yadav while Ravichandran Ashwin had little to show except go for 11 unrewarding overs in the day. Jadeja’s perseverance paid off, fetching him his eighth five-wicket haul. But for Jadeja’s 5/124 and Yadav’s 3/106, Australia would have run away with an even bigger score.
Brief scores, At tea: Australia 451 vs India 20/0 in 8 overs (KL Rahul 18*, M Vijay 2*)
Here are Jadeja’s wickets: