After opting to bat first on the opening day, Australia’s batsmen backed their skipper’s call and posted a formidable 451 in the first innings. Powered by centuries from Steven Smith himself and Glenn Maxwell, Australia reached the highest team total by either team in this series so far.
Australia's total was among their highest totals when batting first in Test matches in India.
On the opening day of the Ranchi Test, the Australian captain got to his 19th Test century - and his sixth in Test matches against India. On Day II, he carried on and finished unbeaten on 178 - the highest by an Australian captain in Test matches in India.
With his unbeaten 178 in Ranchi, Smith - in his capacity as Australia captain - took his tally of Test hundreds against India to 5. Only the former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd scored more hundreds while captaining a team against India; the tall left-handed batsman scored 7 hundreds against India while he was West Indies captain.
Ravindra Jadeja returned as India's most successful bowler in the first innings in Ranchi; he dismissed five Australian batsmen - including the centurion Glenn Maxwell - and finished with figures of 5-124. Jadeja had 71 Test scalps prior to this home season.
But in the 2016-17 home season, he has added a further 63 wickets in 12 Test matches. There is a strong chance that he will finish this home season with twice the number of wickets he had prior to the start of the season.
Jadeja was not only the most successful bowler for India, but also the most economical too.
While the Australians scored quite freely against the rest of the Indian bowlers, it was hard work against Jadeja's left-arm spin. The left-arm spinner was particularly stingy on Day II, for he only conceded runs at an economy rate of 2.28.
India got off to a sound start in reply to Australia's mammoth first innings total. The opening pair of KL Rahul & Murali Vijay - India's first choice opening pair in Test cricket - helped the team to an xx-run opening stand - the highest between them in 14 Test innings.