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AUSTRALIA V INDIA TESTS

Pujara lets his bat do the talking

20 March 2017

India star urges Australians to 'look at the scoreboard' during his epic knock in Ranchi

"Look at the scoreboard."

It’s one of the oldest comebacks in sport but quite often it’s the best, and it’s the one star India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara used to blunt Australia quick Josh Hazlewood, according to teammate Wriddhiman Saha.

Quick single: Script flipped as India seize control

As Pujara and Saha put Australia’s attack to the sword on a benign pitch at JSCA Stadium, an understandably frustrated Hazlewood upped his verbal game to unsettle the set batsmen.

But Pujara, who scored a sublime 202 along with Saha’s 117, was up to the task and used the classic retort to the touring tearaway when he was confronted on day four.

"Little banter always goes on," Saha said after play when asked about what advice Hazlewood was offering out in the middle. 

"Pujara was telling him 'look at the scoreboard'. He was on 180 odd then.

"They said something to me as well, I just said 'go back and bowl'. Nothing more than that."

Pujara's epic 202 flattens Australia

The spicy series heated up again late in the day when India captain Virat Kohli gave David Warner a seismic send off after the Australia opener was bowled by Ravindra Jadeja for 14.

Kohli stared down Warner as he bounced around tapping his injured right shoulder while Jadeja put his index finger over his lips, appearing to signal ‘keep quiet’.

Standing umpires Ian Gould and Chris Gaffney spoke to Kohli and Jadeja after the wicket but it’s unlikely the Indian pair will be reprimanded given what happened during the second Test in Bengaluru, where no player was sanctioned despite several heated exchanges between the two sides.

Quick wrap: Star Indian trio turn third Test

Tensions threaten to bubble over again in Ranchi when it looked as though Glenn Maxwell and Steve Smith were mocking Kohli’s injury.

Maxwell grabbed his shoulder after diving for a ball in the outfield in what has been perceived as mocking Kohli, who sustained his shoulder injury completing a similar dive on day one.

Social media then picked up on Smith also grabbing his shoulder after he claimed the catch to dismiss Kohli for just six, but photos later emerged debunking that myth, with the hand on Smith’s shoulder actually belonging to teammate Peter Handscomb.

Quick single: Record tumble in Ranchi

India opener Murali Vijay, who made 82 in India’s first innings on 9-603 declared, said his teammates were aware of the actions of the Australians and now it’s their turn to face the music on day five.

"Lots of things are happening," Vijay said. "Whatever they are doing, we take it as sportingly.

"There's going to be a second innings, so if they can take it that way, it would be great."

Umpire's head-scratching moment on day four

 

Test Squads


India (for third and fourth Tests): Virat Kohli (c), Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandaran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Karun Nair, Jayant Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Abhinav Mukund.


Australia: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Ashton Agar, Jackson Bird, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Stephen O'Keefe, Matthew Renshaw, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade


Australia's schedule in India


Feb 23-27, First Test, Pune - Australia won by 333 runs.


Mar 4-8, Second Test, Bengaluru - India won by 75 runs.


Mar 16-20, Third Test, Ranchi


Mar 25-29, Fourth Test, Dharamsala


About the Writer

 @samuelfez
@samuelfez

Sam Ferris is a Sydney-based journalist for cricket.com.au. He started in 2011 as a Big Bash League correspondent and continues to monitor the domestic scene and national sides closely.

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