Steven Smith scored his 6th hundred against India    IANS
Steven Smith scored his 6th hundred against India IANS

Australia end Day One at 299 for 4, of the third of the four-Test series at Ranchi, courtesy 159-run stand between Steven Smith and Glenn Maxwell. This was only the second wicketless session of this otherwise bowler-dominated series. Despite stuttering at 140 for 4 amidst a collective bowling effort from India, the duo exhibited magnificent show of character and took their team out of the woods. While Smith scored his sixth century (and 19th overall) against India, Glenn Maxwell notched up his maiden Test fifty. Given the track will only get better as the match progresses, Australia will look to pile on more runs and leave India tired and frustrated. Full cricket scorecard: India vs Australia, 3rd Test

This is Australia’s 800th Test, only behind England who have featured in 983 Tests. On the other hand, Murali Vijay, who missed the Bengaluru Test due to shoulder injury, has completed half-century of Tests. To add fuel to the fire, Smith also reached 5,000 runs and Peter Handscomb became the youngest Australian to score 500 runs. Moreover, Ranchi became India’s 26th Test venue. If anything, Maxwell also played 100 balls for the first time across formats. All in all, it was indeed a day of milestones. However, above all, Virat Kohli injured his shoulder and went off the field for half the day, letting his deputy Ajinkya Rahane call the shots.

The team that called it right at the toss went on to win the match in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2016-17. As fate would have it, luck favoured Smith and he unhesitatingly chose to bat first. Going by the way the opening day has panned out for the visitors, Smith would be happy with the eventual score. Full cricket updates: India vs Australia, 3rd Test, Day 1

Australian top order, in all probability, did not apply themselves sensibly. David Warner, who has been uncharacteristic this series, fell for a loopy full toss. Looking to smash the ball down the ground, he played in the air instead and holed out straight to bowler Ravindra Jadeja.

Matt Renshaw looked good for another fifty, but played Umesh Yadav’s reverse-swinging delivery away from his body and edged a simple catch to Kohli at first-slip. To make matters worse, Ravichandran Ashwin sent Shaun Marsh packing for a mere 2.

Peter Handscomb then started with a lovely drive off the very first ball. All the same, he soon became Umesh’s second victim, as his reflexes failed to bring the bat down on time, eventually getting lbw. However, that was the last time India heaved a sigh, for Smith and Maxwell took the bull by its horn and placed their team in a commanding position.

Brief scores:

Australia 299 for 4 (Steven Smith 117*, Glenn Maxwell 82*; Umesh Yadav 2 for 63) vs India.

Full scorecard