Indian middle order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara and wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha 199-run seventh wicket partnership and a late burst by all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja both with the bat and ball put the hosts completely in the driver's seat at stumps on day 4 of the third Test being played at the JSCA international stadium in Ranchi on Sunday. Australia ended the day at 23/2, trailing India by 129 runs, after the Indians by declared at 603/9 earlier in the day. The Darren Lehmann side face a huge task on Day 5 as they will strive to survive the onslaught from left-arm orthodox bowler Jadeja and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
While the Saurashtra batsman scored his third double ton in Test matches smashed the way to his third century. Jadeja then scored his sixth half-century before taking two crucial Australian wickets at close of play.
Resuming the day at 360/6, Cheteshwar Pujara passed 150 in an unbroken century stand with Saha as the hosts closed in on Aussies first innings total of 451. The duo batted through the morning session without losing a wicket and were 435/6 at lunch, 16 runs behind the tourists with Pujara not out on 164 and Saha on 59.
The 29 years old (Pujara) then went on to score his third double century in Tests and second versus Australia. Pujara's knock was the longest innings, in terms of balls played, by an Indian batsman, going past legendary Rahul Dravid record of playing 495 balls while scoring a brilliant 270 against Pakistan in Rawalpindi in 2004.
The 32 years old batsman (Saha) also hit a gutsy third ton to bring up his highest score in Test matches, 117.