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Cummins gets going but classy Pujara holds up Australia

Cheteshwar Pujara batted all day to score an 11th Test century, but Pat Cummins took four wickets to put Australia on top.

CheteshwarPujaraCropped
India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara

Pat Cummins made up for lost time with a brilliant display of fast bowling but an exceptional century from Cheteshwar Pujara held Australia up on day three of the third Test.

Cummins had not played a Test since making his debut in 2011 before earning a recall in Ranchi this week, but the injury-plagued quick spearheaded the Australia attack by taking 4-59 to leave India 360-6 in reply to 451.

The 23-year-old steamed in and was rewarded with three wickets on Saturday, including the scalp of captain Virat Kohli, who was able to bat at number four after being off the field since day one due to a shoulder injury.

Kohli made only six, but the classy Pujara maintained his outstanding form by batting all day for a skilful unbeaten 130 from 328 balls after Murali Vijay made 82 and India will need the number three to stay in the middle well into day four as they trail by 91.

Cummins generated not only rapid pace, but also reverse swing on a pitch that offered more turn, which Australia will be wary of after they were skittled out in the second innings in Bangalore last week to be pegged back at 1-1 in the four-match series.

Vijay brought up his half-century in his 50th Test after India resumed on 120-1 and Australia were left frustrated with two big decisions in as many balls that did not go their way.

Captain Steve Smith called for a review after Pujara was given not out following a leg before shout, with Australia convinced Steve O'Keefe's delivery hit bat before pad, but third umpire Nigel Llong stuck with the original decision.

To add insult to injury, the following ball from Nathan Lyon was taken at short leg, but Vijay had a huge slice of luck with 58 to his name as umpire Ian Gould did not detect the edge and Australia were out of reviews.

Opener Vijay was stumped on the stroke of lunch when he gave O'Keefe the charge and a pumped-up Cummins struck with the second new ball courtesy of a sharp catch from Smith to remove Kohli.

Ajinkya Rahane (14) gifted Cummins a third wicket when he attempted to ramp him over the slips, but found the gloves of Matthew Wade, and India were 320-5 after Josh Hazlewood uprooted Karun Nair's off-stump with a peach of a delivery,

The unflappable Pujara stood firm, content to be patient on a flat pitch and despite receiving treatment on his hand he looked untroubled, scoring more freely with the new ball and raising his bat to celebrate an 11th Test century following a glorious cover drive.

Ravichandran Ashwin was adjudged to have gloved a rising Cummins delivery behind following a review, but marathon man Pujara was still going strong at stumps.

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