India came up with a strong performance on the third day of the first Test as they ended with 151/3, taking a lead of 166 runs on Saturday at the Adelaide Oval.
At stumps, Cheteshwar Pujara (40) was batting with vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane (1) at the other end.
Having gained a lead of 15 runs, the Indian batsmen showed more intent and responsibility this time around with openers Murali Vijay and KL Rahul adding 50 runs for the opening stand.
Both batsmen looked solid and dealt with the Aussie attack with character before Vijay edged an outgoing delivery to second slip to become India’s first casualty for the day. But Rahul looked strong and confident of getting a big one as he whacked three fours and one six before falling to Hazlewood while atempting one of his many ambitious shosts.
With two down in a relatively short span of time, Cheteshwar Pujara and skipper Virat Kohli joined forces to carry on the good work. The duo added 71 runs for the third wicket and strengthened India’s grip on the contest.
But Nathan Lyon, one of the most underrated in modern day cricket dismissed Kohli when he had the 30-year old jabbing to short leg, only for the ball to take the inside edge and land in Aaron Finch’s hands.
Pujara meanwhile continued the way he did in the first innings, applying a lot of patience and defying the bowlers.
Despite rains delaying the start of the day, India bowled out the hosts for just 235 runs, thereby taking a slender lead of 15 runs. For the Australians, Travis Head was the top-scorer for the hosts with 72 runs while Jasprit Bumrah turned out to be India’s best bowler with three wickets for 47 runs. Mohammad Shami, who was wicketless on the second day, took two wickets in as many balls as he ended 2/58.
Brief scores: India 250 and 151 for 3 (Rahul 44, Pujara 40*) lead Australia 235 (Head 72, Bumrah 3-47, Ashwin 3-57) by 166 runs