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Pujara, Rahul lead India’s fightback in Bengaluru Test

Bengaluru (Karnataka)[India]: Opener KL Rahul and Cheteshwar Pujara struck brilliant half centuries as India made its way back in the ongoing second Test against Australia at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Monday.

At Stumps on Day 3, India were 213 for four, leading Australia by 126 runs. Pujara (79) and Ajinkya Rahane (40) were at the crease. The partnership of 93 between the two has turned this match firmly in India’s favour, and even the hopes of regaining the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

On a difficult, dry, cracking pitch, the duo batted the entire final session and lifted India’s lead to 126 runs.

Earlier, Rahul (51), who top-scored with 90 in first innings, put on 45 with Pujara after Abhinav Mukund (16) was bowled by Josh Hazlewood just after lunch.

The Karnataka batsman batted with intent during his 85-ball knock and tried to take the attack to the Australian bowlers as and when he got the opportunity.

Hazlewood claimed three wickets, including the key scalp of skipper Virat Kohli for 15.

In the morning session, left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja took a six-wicket haul to help dismiss Australia for 276 in their first innings, a lead of 87.

Resuming at yesterday’s score of 237-6, Matthew Wade (40) and Mitchell Starc (26) made significant contributions before being dismissed by Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin, respectively.

Jadeja then took wickets of Nathan Lyon (duck) and Josh Hazlewood (one) in quick successions to eventually bowl out the visitors under 300 runs.

Jadeja finished with the figures of six for 63, including three from the second day. Ashwin scalped two wickets while Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav also chipped in with a wicket each.

The Virat Kohli-led side, which is currently trailing the four-match series 0-1, would be aiming to at least set a target of close to 200 to send jitters into the Australian camp, and seeing the condition of the pitch, that would definitely give Steve Smith and Co. nightmares. (ANI)