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Pujara´s record innings puts India in control

19 March 2017 13:35

Cheteshwar Pujara showed tremendous staying power on day four as his double century gave India the upper hand in the third Test against Australia in Ranchi.

Pujara faced 525 deliveries in the longest stint ever completed by an Indian batsman, eventually seen off by Nathan Lyon (1-163) for 202 having combined with Wriddhiman Saha (117) for a 199-run stand.

The hosts had resumed on 360-6 and ultimately declared on 603-9, with Australia reaching 23-2 - 129 adrift of India's first-innings total - before stumps.

Pujara made 130 before the end of play on Saturday and continued his charge with a consistent knock on Sunday, finding the boundary on 21 occasions over the course of the innings.

In Saha - who arrived at the crease late on day three following the dismissal of Ravichandran Ashwin - Pujara found an able partner and the pair set about extinguishing Australia's chances of edging ahead in the four-match series.

For Pujara, his total represented a second double century against Australia - the most by any Indian batsman, alongside Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman.

Saha, meanwhile, brought up his third Test ton off 214 deliveries, before the pair were dismissed - both caught by Glenn Maxwell in pursuit of quick runs to boost the Indian total ahead of declaration.

India added 62 following Saha's exit and Australia made a shaky start to their second innings.

David Warner (14) was bowled by Ravindra Jadeja (2-6), before nightwatchman Nathan Lyon (2) suffered the same fate with the final delivery of the day.

Matt Renshaw sits on seven not out heading into a final day Australia will likely have to bat through in order to secure a draw and keep their hopes of winning the series alive ahead of the final Test in Dharamsala.

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