Virat Kohli gave a fitting reply to Glenn Maxwell's mockery with his 'shoulder' send off    IANS
Virat Kohli gave a fitting reply to Glenn Maxwell’s mockery with his ‘shoulder’ send-off IANS

The gloomy overcast day was action-filled. It was dominated by Cheteshwar Pujara with Wriddhiman Saha and Ravindra Jadeja playing apt supporting roles. But can you keep Virat Kohli and his shoulder out of action? He ensured he remained in the headlines, at least, in the Australian media. Courtesy Pujara’s record double ton and Wriddhiman Saha’s third hundred, India declared at 603 for 9 with a lead of 152, and had Australia reeling at 23 for 2 at stumps on Day 4. Just like the first three days, here’s Suvajit Mustafi with highlights from Day Four of this fantastic Test. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs Australia, 3rd Test, Ranchi

Cummin’s five-for? Pat Cummins was one of the stars from the Australian camp. He steamed in to bowl his second over of the day to Saha and got him trapped in the pad. Umpire ruled it out, Cummins thought he got his fifth, but Saha reviewed the decision. It was overturned. Australia’s tough luck with DRS continued throughout the day and the five-for eluded Cummins.

DRS drama continues: Couple of overs before lunch, umpire Ian Gould ruled Pujara LBW. India successfully challenged the decision. After Australia got the third new ball they also pocketed two reviews. They exhausted the first one with the very first over with the third new ball with a desperate call. They ended up losing both the reviews in the next 20 overs much to Indians glee.

Every time India won a review or the Australians lost one, the camera focused on the Indian dressing room and as usual, Kohli was caught celebrating. Murali Vijay and Jadeja too were expressive with their celebrations.

All’s not well between Indian and Australian players when you see two of the calmest guys from the respective sides having a go at each other. Josh Hazlewood was visibly frustrated and showered some of it on the well-settled Saha, who chose to give it back.

Gaffe-aney: Umpire Chris Gaffaney had a serious oops moment on the field. Hazlewood fired Pujara with a short delivery and Pujara went for a pull. The ball missed everything on its way to Matthew Wade’s gloves. Out of nowhere, Gaffaney almost gave it ‘out’ before he decided to scratch his hat. Reminds me of an instance from the India-Sri Lanka 1997-98 ODI series. Ajay Jadeja was the batsman.

The 199-stand: The seventh-wicket partnership of 199 between Pujara and Saha got India back in the game. This became the highest seventh-wicket partnership for India, against Australia surpassing the 69-year-old record. The previous best was 132 between Hemu Adhikari and Vijay Hazare in 1948.

Pujara, the bully: In the post-match interview, Saha went on to say, “I felt sorry for the opposition. It did not seem like he (Pujara) will get out.” Pujara batted like a bully. He batted for seven sessions to score his 202 and in process tumbled many records. He has now played the longest innings by an Indian batsman by consuming 525 balls. The previous best was Rahul Dravid’s 495 balls that he faced against Pakistan in Rawalpindi, in 2004. With this third Test double hundred, Pujara now has 2,007 runs in First-Class cricket this season.

Lyon’s contrasting fortunes: Nathan Lyon claimed an eight-for on Day One of the Bengaluru Test, exactly two weeks back. He toiled for 75.2 overs to get his next wicket and that was of a tired Pujara.

Saha-ra: Not for the first time, Saha bailed India from deep waters. He provided the perfect support to Pujara and did not let the run rate drop much. He played some exquisite drives en route 117.

Saha is underrated and many doubted his ability when he filled in the big boots vacated by Dhoni. He now has half (three) of Dhoni’s Test hundreds in less than one-third games, added with his exemplary wicketkeeping skills.

Gavaskar’s jibe: Not just the players, even the Australian media has been at war with India’s. There was a recent report published in Australian press about Sunil Gavaskar stooping low and calling the Australian media contingent as their 12th man. Gavaskar gave a smart reply in the commentary box when his co-commentators discussed why Maxwell was not bowling.

Mentioning Maxwell’s shoulder mock of Kohli, Gavaskar cited the former was injured. Here is what he had to say:

500s: Before tea on Day 4, the number 500 was the hot topic of discussion. Pujara became the first Indian to play 500 balls in Test cricket, India had just crossed the 500-run mark. Steve O’ Keefe almost reached the mark as well. He bowled 77 overs. Another 38 balls and he would have got his 500 as well. You got to feel for his left shoulder.

The Jadeja icing: The icing on India’s cake was provided by Jadeja. Coming in at No.9, he slammed a 55-ball 54 to take India past the 600-mark, which meant the lead was 152. He shared a 50-plus stand with Umesh Yadav. And this.

That was not all, he made brilliant use of the new ball, getting it to land it on the rough and explode. He bowled 3.2 overs before the end of the day’s play and dismissed David Warner and night-watchman Nathan Lyon. India vs Australia 3rd Test: Ravindra Jadeja puts hosts on top after Cheteshwar Pujara-Wriddhiman Saha show

Now cut to the Kohli moment. Not pleased by Maxwell’s mocking of his shoulder injury, Kohli decided to give Warner a send-off by patting his own shoulders. He could have avoided that, at least for his own sake in order to not aggravate the existing injury. But then we are talking of Virat Kohli. Without whom, the energy level for Team India simply evaporates.