Cheteshwar Pujara once again held fort for India with an unbeaten knock of 40 as the visitors finished Day 3 of the first test at Adelaide on 151/3, with an overall lead of 166 runs. A healthy crowd of 30,348 was present in the SA capital to witness an absorbing day of test cricket, following somewhat poor attendances of 23,802 and 25,693 on Days 1 and 2 respectively.
The day began with Australia resuming their first innings on 191/7. All three of their remaining batsmen nicked to Rishabh Pant, thus helping the youngster equal MS Dhoni’s record of most catches in a single test innings (6) for India.
Mitchell Starc and Travis Head added 13 runs to their overnight total before Jasprit Bumrah provided the vital breakthrough, getting rid of the former for 15.
Rain then interrupted proceedings at the Adelaide Oval with Australia at 204/8. After play resumed, Head and Nathan Lyon added 31 for the ninth wicket, with the off spinner even hooking Shami for six in his 24 run cameo. However the Indian pacer had the last laugh, getting rid of Head and Josh Hazlewood off consecutive deliveries to give his side a 15 run lead.
Jasprit Bumrah and Ravi Ashwin were the pick of the Indian bowlers as they both bagged 3 wickets apiece, while Ishant Sharma and Mohammad Shami picked up two each.
India, having a lead of 15 runs, began their second innings very cautiously. They scored just 8 runs in the first 8 overs, with Hazlewood bowling four maidens on the trot. However runs began to come at a faster pace, mainly thanks to Rahul, who unleashed some gorgeous strokes, and the opening duo of Vijay and Rahul were able to produce a 50 run stand overseas together for the first time.
The stand was broken when Vijay attempted an ambitious drive only off the bowling of Starc, only to be caught at second slip by Peter Handscomb for 18 runs.
Rahul played his second longest innings in terms of deliveries this year, but fell six short of a half century, caught behind by keeper Tim Paine off the tireless Hazlewood.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli then joined first innings centurion Cheteshwar Pujara at the crease and the duo batted patiently, putting on 71 runs for the third wicket.
Towards the end of the day, Lyon struck by getting the prize scalp of the India captain, caught by Aaron Finch at short leg for a gritty 34.
Pujara who survived 2 close calls via DRS, saw the day through without any further alarms in the company of Ajinkya Rahane as India finished Day 3 at 151 for 3 with an overall lead of 166 runs.
Starc, Hazlewood and Lyon all claimed one wicket each while Pat Cummins went wicketless.
At the end of Stumps on Day 3- Australia 235 all out Travis Head (72) (Bumrah 3/47); India 151/3 (Pujara 40*, Rahul 44)