India remained on track to chase down Australia’s first-innings total of 451 despite Stephen O’Keefe removing Murali Vijay (83) on the last ball before Lunch to leave the hosts at 193/2 in the third Test of the ongoing India vs Australia series being played at Ranchi.
Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara (40*) had plundered runs in the morning session, bringing up a 100-run partnership without much fuss. But Vijay had a moment to forget when he stepped out to clobber O’Keefe only to miss the ball completely, much to the delight of wicketkeeper Matthew Wade, who promptly stumped the dangerous batsman.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli had been seen practicing in the nets in the morning and looked cheerful in the dressing room as he witnessed Australia squander their last remaining review on a highly-optimistic appeal. To make matters worse for Steve Smith and co, Nathan Lyon had a genuine shout in the next over but with the umpire looking unmoved, the Australians could not even review the decision as they had used up all their DRS reviews.
While the loss of Vijay is a big one, India are trailing Australia by 258 runs with 8 wickets in hand, so will be confident of overhauling the visitors total by the end of the day’s play.
For Australia, they will need to unsettle the new batsman and try to get some quick wickets if they are to stem the hosts’ charge which at this point, seems unstoppable.