India's marathon man Cheteshwar Pujara continued his excellent form this home season by striking a third career Test double century during the fourth day of the Ranchi Test. Pujara managed a marvellous rescuing act along with Wriddhiman Saha as the two put on 199 runs for the seventh wicket to virtually make it impossible for Australia to win the Test.
Pujara and Saha's outstanding effort helped India comfortably ascended into a 152-run before the innings was declared on 603/9. The final push was provided by none other than Ravindra Jadeja, who first scored an unbeaten 54 off 55 balls and then quickly snuffed out two wickets. India gave themselves eight overs to put Australia to bat after which the tourists scored 23 runs for the loss of David Warner and night watchman Nathan Lyon's wickets.
During the knock, Pujara consumed the most number of balls by an Indian batsman in an innings, overtaking Rahul Dravid's 495 deliveries during his 270 against Pakistan at Rawalpindi in 2004. Pujara also went past 1000 runs against Australia. Saha offered him wonderful support and scored a third and perhaps his most cherished Test hundred.
Pujara was very impressive today. His footwork against Lyon and Steve O'Keefe was exemplary. His only moment of nervousness came when he was given out leg-before off Lyon in the 155th over. With just five overs remaining before India got back their allotted reviews, Pujara went upstairs, and the ball once again turned just about enough to miss leg.
Brief score: Australia 23/2 (David Warner 14, Ravindra Jadeja 2/6) trail India 603/9 decl (Cheteshwar Pujara 202, Wriddhiman Saha 117) by 129 runs.