Australia End Day 1 at 299/4
Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell have taken Australia to a fantastic position at the end of day one of the third Test against India at Ranchi.
Smith and Maxwell pulled off the third session without losing a wicket and added 159 runs for the fifth wicket until the close of play.
Smith brought up his 19th Test century and Maxwell scored his first Test fifty during the course of the day.
Australia ended day one at 299/4.
Smith’s Second Hundred in the Series
Steve Smith is becoming a better batsman with every innings in this series. After all the brain fade-DRS episode, Smith couldn’t have found a better comeback than a century.
He brings up his 19th Test century and 6th against India in 227 balls. He is the only player to score a century in this series, let alone two now!
Australia: 272/4 after 83 overs.
This Steve Smith is such a wonderful young player. Been a joy seeing him bat.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) March 16, 2017
Two centuries in 3 Tests on bowler friendly pitches where no other batsman has reached three figures. Take a bow @stevesmith49— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) March 16, 2017
Australia will have revised their first innings target from 300 to 400. To achieve this, important that Smith and Maxwell see the day thru— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) March 16, 2017
Maxwell’s First Test Fifty
Glenn Maxwell has justified his selection with a classical Test fifty. The Australian, who has been in the international circuit since 2012, brings up his first Test fifty with a big six over midwicket off Ravindra Jadeja’s bowling.
With the six, Maxwell and Smith also post 100 runs for the fifth wicket. This is the second 100-run partnership of the series.
Australia: 242/4 after 74 overs.
Australia Go Past 200
Steve Smith (84) is playing another one of his quintessential Test innings and Maxwell (23) has also got a fine start in his innings.
Smith has smashed 10 boundaries in his innings so far and Maxwell, who is usually an aggressive batsman, hasn’t sent any delivery to the fence yet.
Australia: 202/4 after 63 overs.
At Tea, Australia 194/4
Four wickets in the first two sessions of the Ranchi Test and Australia are heading into Tea at 194/4. Skipper Steve Smith is unbeaten on 80 and Glen Maxwell, playing his first match of the tour, is on a 50-ball-19.
Maxwell and Smith Take Australia Past 170
Maxwell, who is playing his fourth Test of his career, has adapted to the conditions well and has played the supporting role to perfection so far in his innings.
Steve Smith has answered everything the Indians have thrown at him and is going strong at 67 runs off 137 balls.
The duo have added 31 runs for the fifth wicket until the 53rd over.
Australia: 171/4 after 53 overs.
Smith Scores 50 & Handscomb Falls For 19
Steve Smith notches his 21st Test fifty and in the very next ball Peter Handscomb gets trapped LBW by Umesh Yadav!
Handscomb goes for 19.
Smith, who has batted brilliantly so far in his innings, has been losing partners in regular intervals. He will have to try and form a partnership with Glenn Maxwell, if he wants Australia to post a big first innings total.
Maxwell is playing his first Test in two and a half years. This is a perfect situation for him to seal a place in the Test side.
Australia: 140/4 after 43 overs.
Many aficionados were skeptical about @stevesmith49's ability to score runs on turning tracks in India. Silenced all doubters quite superbly— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) March 16, 2017
Consistency is a quality of the very best. Just like that, Steve Smith gets to 50!— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) March 16, 2017
Virat Kohli Hurts His Shoulder
This could be bad news for India! Peter Handcomb knocks the ball onto the leg side and Virat Kohli runs behind the ball and dives to keep the ball inside the boundary line.
But after putting in the dive, he immediately catches his shoulder and indicates some pain. While diving, it looked like the shoulder was under a lot of pressure when he rolled on the ground.
He is walking off the field with the physio for some treatment.
Now, Ajinkya Rahane will get a taste of Test captaincy for the first time in his career.
Australia: 132/3 after 40 overs
Australia Take Lunch at 109/3
After all the off field drama about the Smith-DRS controversy, the two teams finally got down to business in the third Test at Ranchi.
David Warner and Matt Renshaw got Australia off to a decent start with a 50-run partnership before Ravindra Jadeja, Umesh Yadav and Ravichandran Ashwin picked up a wicket each and reduced Australia to 89/3.
Steve Smith (34*), who is looking terrific in the middle, is nearing another Test fifty.
With Smith and Peter Handscomb at the crease, Australia take lunch at 109/3.
India's session. Australia will rue the three wickets they have lost after a very good toss to win— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) March 16, 2017
Aus will hope to do much better in 2nd session. Pitch hasnt played badly. Wickets lost thru unforced errors. India cope with pressure bettet— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) March 16, 2017
India Get Marsh With DRS
Ashwin bowls. Pujara dives to his left for a brilliant catch but the umpire nods, no.
India are choosing their DRS appeals carefully in Ranchi but this one is worth a try. The third umpire takes his time, “definite spike, conclusive spike that the ball touched the inside edge of the bat”.
Decision reversed. India have their third wicket. Shaun Marsh walks on 2.
Renshaw Out on 44
Umesh Yadav has struck for India, just when the opener was looking set for a big score. The delivery takes a big edge off Renshaw’s bat and Virat Kohli at first slips safely latches on to this one.
Renshaw 44 off 69. Australia: 80/2
Condemning a pitch before a ball has been bowled is like sentencing a person before a hearing.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) March 16, 2017
Jadeja Gets Warner
No Ashwin this time. David Warner sends Ravindra Jadeja’s delivery straight back to the bowler. Australia lose their first wicket.
End of 10 overs in Ranchi. Aus: 50/1
Australia Post 10 in 3 Overs
David Warner and Matt Renshaw start the innings for the visiting team and Virat Kohli has elected to start with Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav.
6th over and Ravichandran Ashwin is in. David Warner at the crease. There’s a little bit of history here. Ashwin’s got Warner out nine times. Will we have a 10th today?
Australia Win Toss, Elect to Bat First
India make one change, Murali Vijay is back in the XI. Abhinav Mukund will have to watch from the sidelines.
Australia lost two players due to injury after the Bangalore Test and have two new faces in the line-up. Pat Cummins and Glenn Maxwell are in.
India: Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Karun Nair, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma.
Australia: David Warner, Mark Renshaw, Steve Smith (C), Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Wade, Steve O'Keefe, Nathan Lyon, Pat Cummins, Jose Hazlewood.
Australian skipper Steve Smith rejected Virat Kohli's insinuation that he repeatedly cheated while taking DRS calls, saying the claims by his Indian counterpart are "complete rubbish".
Speaking to the media on the eve of the Ranchi Test, Smith said "From my point of view I think they're completely wrong. I obviously came out after the game and said I made a mistake and it was an error on my behalf, it was a brain fade".
This, after Virat Kohli spent the better part of his preview press conference stressing on the need to ‘move ahead’ from the DRS controversy.
Virat Kohli refused to attach any importance to the track in Ranchi but Steve Smith said he cannot keep his mind off it, as the rival captains shared their views on the all-important 22-yards in Ranchi.
Kohli felt that the external conditions would determine how the pitch would behave.
"A lot of things like weather go behind how the pitch would behave. In hot and humid conditions, we get reverse swing. It's not just the wicket but external conditions play a role," Kohli said on the eve of the third Test.
Expecting slow and low bounce, Smith said they would look to hit the stumps and stick to the basics.
"I think you have to be hitting the stumps majority of the times. You have to keep things as simple as you can, try and build pressure and perhaps take wickets in different ways. We've got plans in these kinds of wickets, where there isn't much bounce," he said.
Big day in Jharkhand today with MS Dhoni’s home ground hosting its first Test match. India and Australia all poised to restart the battle for the Border-Gavaskar trophy, with the visitors needing just one more win from the two remaining matches to retan the trophy.
A special day for Australia as well, with the team playing their 800th Test match.
Click to read our statistician Arun Gopalakrishnan’s numbers-based preview of the game.
Interestingly, Australia have won each of their 100-milestone matches, expect the 700th fixture that they lost to India.
Will there be an encore in Jharkhand?