India needed something special to save them from another quick defeat at the hands of Australia on Day 3 in Bangalore.
In walked Ajinkya Rahane. With the hosts at 120/4.
Four wickets had just fallen in one session but the trusted regular number 3, who came out at four down today, collaborated with Cheteshwar Pujara to ensure India did not lose any more wickets on the day. Their 93-run partnership the highest from either teams in this series. Also ensuring India enter the fourth day of a Test for the first time this series, with a 126-run lead and six wickets in hand.
Australia had scored 276 in their first innings with left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja returning with best figures of 6 for 63 among the bowlers.
This was the first time in the series that India managed to pull through a session without losing a wicket.Fun Fact
Earlier in the innings, Pujara showed admirable temperament and was helped by flamboyant opener Lokesh Rahul's (51) second half-century of the match. Pujara played 173 balls to hit six boundaries while Rahane also consumed 105 balls to hit three boundaries. Lot of credit should be given to Rahul, who played both pacers and spinners well during his 85-ball knock that had four boundaries.
It took an absolute blinder from Australian skipper Steve Smith at first slip to remove Rahul, who also completed 1000 Test runs in his career. Importantly, both played the spin duo of Nathan Lyon (0/69 in 27 overs) and Steve O'Keefe (1/28 in 16 overs) well.
(More to follow)