Aggressive Pant, cautious Pujara take India to 206/3 at lunch but Australia still hold edgePTI | Sydney | Updated: 11-01-2021 07:29 IST | Created: 11-01-2021 07:29 IST
Rishabh Pant played in his customary aggressive style to hit a half-century in company of an ever cautious Cheteshwar Pujara, taking India to 206 for 3 at lunch on final day of the third Test with Australia still holding the upperhand.
India still need 201 runs to accomplish a near-impossible chase of 407 and with Ravindra Jadeja only to bat if required, Australia just need two wickets to enter a rather fragile tail in the next two sessions.
India lost skipper Ajinkya Rahane in the second over of the day but Pant smashed his way to 73 off 97 balls adding 104 runs for the unbroken fourth wicket stand with Pujara (41 batting, 147 balls) being the ideal foil.
The session started with Lyon starting the day successfully trapping Rahane with a classical off-spinner's dismissal by tossing one up and it hit the rough while the Indian skipper tried to defend and the forward short leg Matthew Wade was in play.
Pant defended for the first 35 odd balls but then suddenly in a couple of overs from Lyon, hit him over long on for a six and three fours using his feet to perfection.
This sudden attack did force Paine to again change his end back to 'Randwick' as Pujara also seemed to gain in confidence playing that whip off mid-wicket to further torment the off-spinner. The left-hander, who hit eight fours and three sixes was also severe on Mitchell Starc, creaming him through covers on a number of occasions and jabbing a short ball through point.
He was a bit lucky as on two occasions with Paine dropping sharp chances off Lyon.
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