India ended day three with a lead of 276 after New Zealand were bowled out for 299 in response to India’s mammoth 557/5 declared on day three, thanks to yet another Ravichandran Ashwin five-wicket haul.
The visitors began the day well and lost just the wicket of Tom Latham before lunch. Both openers got their fifties and it looked as though they might comfortably cross the follow-on mark before the day. Then, Ashwin happened soon after lunch.
The off-spinner gobbled up another six-wicket haul to bowl New Zealand out for 299. And it was not just with the ball that he was devastating as he inflicted two run-outs as well and was a part of eight of the 10 Kiwi wickets to fall on day three.
R Ashwin speaks about his two run-outs
The star of the day, Ravichandran Ashwin admitted that he needs the help of other bowlers and also spoke about taking time to find his rhythm.
"I look to get a five for, as a batsman looks to get a hundred. You also need the help of other bowlers not to pick up wickets to get five-fors as often as I do.” he added with a cheeky grin.
Speaking about why he was so good after lunch, he said: "I dont find my rhythm very quickly in any of these spells in this series. Once I settled in, the body starts going into the ball, and that was one of those spells. Got to give credit to the way Rahane is pulling off those catches, staying low.”
On his run-outs, he added: “The second one was not intentional. It was actually bad that I dropped the catch. We are just trying to give it a better chance to wear down. it's a quality wicket. Hoping it gives us a little more ammunition"
For the visitors, aside from the openers, James Neesham, who was playing for the first time in this series was the lone warrior in the middle-order as the all-rounder scored 71 but he too fell as the Kiwis were bundled out 58 runs short of the follow-on target.
Virat Kohli had the option of enforcing the follow-on but having spent more than 90 overs in the field, the Indian captain decided to give the bowlers some rest and India’s openers Gautam Gambhir and Murali Vijay came out to bat. Unfortunately for Gambhir, he injured his shoulder again and had to be taken off the field and Pujara came in to bat and saw India through to 18/0 at stumps.
Reactions from the cricket fraternity after another day of Indian domination in the third Test:
And that is why @ashwinravi99 is such a matchwinner.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) October 10, 2016
Remember I told you about that wicket producing machine in @ashwinravi99's backyard doing double-shifts? It's in a beautiful steady state!— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) October 10, 2016