Ranchi: India gave a spirited reply to Australia’s huge first inning total of 451 runs by posting 120 runs for the loss of one wicket in the third of the four-Test series here at JSCA International Stadium Complex here on Friday.
At Stumps on Day 2, India looked comfortable at 120/1 with opener Murli Vijay (42 off 112) and Cheteshwar Pujara (10 off 26) batting at the crease.
Lokesh Rahul (67 off 102, 9 fours) yet again (fourth time) failed to convert a positive half-century into a hundred in the ongoing series as he got out to Pat Cummins, who worked really hard to finally get an edge of the glove through to wicket-keeper Matthew Wade.
Earlier, Steven Smith played a sensationally disciplined inning of 178 runs off 361 balls with the help of 17 fours and remained unbeaten to guide his team to a healthy total of 451 runs. Glenn Maxwell (104 off 185, 9 fours, 2 sixes), who was re-inducted in the Aussie Test squad after a long gap of over two years, scored his maiden century before falling prey to Ravindra Jadeja, who later completed his five-wicket haul in the inning.
Apart from the two centurions, opener Matt Renshaw (44), Matthew Wade (37) and Steve O’Keefe (25) played vital parts in strengthening the Australian team.
Jadeja was the pick of the bowlers in the first inning as he picked five wickets, while Umesh Yadav grabbed three. Ravichandran Ashwin could not spell his magic on the flat track of Ranchi as he could only bag one success in form of Shaun Marsh (2).
Though it has been a fine reply so far, India still trails by 331 runs with nine wickets in hand. Australia just needs two quick wickets to regain momentum in the match.