Cheteshwar Pujara and Rohit Sharma made half-centuries as India showed resistance to hold up England on day three of the third Test at Headingley.

England held a mammoth first-innings lead of 354 after being bowled out for 432 early in the morning session.

India, leading the five-match series 1-0, had been humiliatingly skittled out for 78 on day one, but closed on 215-2 after England were only able to remove KL Rahul (eight) Rohit (59) on Friday.

Pujara returned to form with an unbeaten 91 and Virat Kohli was 45 not out at stumps, with the tourists trailing by 139.

England added only nine runs to their overnight total after resuming on 423-8, Mohammed Shami (4-95) dismissing Craig Overton leg before wicket for 32 and Ollie Robinson cleaned up by Jasprit Bumrah without scoring.

The India openers showed great application as the England seamers probed with the new ball and it took a moment of brilliance from Jonny Bairstow on the stroke of lunch to end a stand of 34.

KL Rahul walked off shaking his head after he edged an excellent delivery from Overton and second-slip Bairstow dived to his left to claim a stunning one-handed catch.

Rohit and Pujara played with a mixture of patience and positivity in a wicket-less afternoon session, with the opener appearing to have a stroke of luck on 39 when Joe Root failed to signal for a review in time after Robinson struck him on the pad.

He brought up his half-century from 125 balls before Robinson snared him lbw.

Pujara was untroubled as he serenely eased to a half-century and Kohli also looked very much at home on a good pitch under gloomy skies as England were unable to make further inroads, with the new ball due early on day four.

 

PUJARA SHOWS HIS CLASS

Pujara's place has been called into question as he has looked totally out of sorts, but he showed his class in Leeds on the third day.

The 33-year-old had failed to make it to 50 in his previous 13 innings before demonstrating what he is capable of with his side on the ropes.

Pujara scored far more freely, driving with finesse and even ramping Robinson for four in a first half-century since making 73 against England in Chennai in February.

KOHLI LOOKING OMINOUS

Captain Kohli has also been short of runs, but that was no evidence of that on a frustrating day for England.

The skipper struck two boundaries in the first over from James Anderson, who dismissed him for the seventh time in the longest format in the first innings.

Kohli, without a Test century since November 2019, ticked along as India put such a dismal display with the bat on the opening day behind them.

Mark Wood led the attack as England boosted their hopes of victory in the second Test as India were reduced to 181-6 by the end of an absorbing fourth day at Lord's.

Holding a slender first-innings lead of 27, England quickly put their opponents under pressure with three early wickets before Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane held up the hosts.

The duo put on a 100-run stand to help ease concerns for India, only for the tourists to then lose three wickets for 20 runs before the close, leaving the game wonderfully poised.

KL Rahul had scored a century on day one but fell for just five second time around, caught behind off the impressive Wood (3-40). Rohit Sharma erased the deficit with two fours and a six, though fell to the same bowler – caught in the deep taking on the short ball – before his side had gone ahead.

However, it was Sam Curran who struck the crucial blow, claiming his first wicket of the series as Virat Kohli was caught by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler after prodding tamely at a delivery outside off stump.

Kohli's departure for 20 left India teetering at 55-3 just prior to lunch, yet England's attack could not make further inroads in the afternoon session.

However, Pujara was eventually dismissed for a battling 45 by a brute of a delivery from Wood, the ball rising off a length to take the edge and be caught by Joe Root at second slip.

Ajinkya Rahane did reach his half-century but became one of two late wickets for off-spinner Moeen Ali, a thin edge ending his knock at 61. Ravindra Jadeja did not last too long, beaten by one that turned to be bowled for three.

Rishabh Pant survived a late trial by spin in fading light to finish on 20 not out, with his continued presence in the middle – and just the tail for company – adding further intrigue ahead of Monday's play.

Digging in

Pujara has had a lean time of it of late, this his highest score since making 73 against the same opponents in Chennai back in February. Indeed, since the start of 2020, he has averaged just 25.95 with no century since the tour of Australia over two years ago.

It took him 35 balls and 51 minutes to get off the mark on Sunday, a long-awaited single greeted by ironic cheers from the crowd and a wry smile from Pujara himself.

Wood makes things happen

England let slip a chance to dismiss Rahane on 31, Jonny Bairstow unable to hang on to a tough diving chance off Ali, but the late clatter of wickets could be crucial in the final reckoning.

Wood started the mini-collapse by ending Pujara's stubborn resistance, fine reward for the pace bowler's perseverance on a sluggish surface. Worryingly, though, he was not on the field at the finish after hurting his shoulder diving to stop a boundary.

West Indies middle-order batsman, Nkrumah Bonner, has recalled drawing inspiration from gritty India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara in wake of the team’s recent triumph over Bangladesh.

Pujara earned widespread commendation for a gutsy performance against Australia last month, where the India batman took hits to the head, elbows, hands, and ribs.  In total, ten balls crashed into him throughout his 211-ball innings.  His stubborn 56, however, was crucial to a historic win for an understrength India, in Australia.

Bonner may not have had to put up with as much physical punishment from the Bangladesh bowlers, but certainly showed plenty of determination in his gritty 86 from 245.  The knock, alongside a cracking 212 from Kyle Mayers, was critical in anchoring an understrength West Indies to a surprise win, in Bangladesh.  Bonner admits he has been taking close note of the India batsman and tries to emulate a few of his qualities.

“I like to see how he goes about his batting.  I think he is very tough mentally and it’s something that I’ve taken from him,” Bonner told members of the media, via a Zoom press conference on Tuesday.

“There is nothing that really troubles him, so I idolize him a lot,” he added.

 

 

Rishabh Pant described his match-winning innings in India's stunning victory over Australia as "one of the biggest moments of my life".

Pant was unbeaten on 89 as India remarkably chased down 328 to beat Australia by three wickets at the Gabba, sealing a 2-1 series triumph as they retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

It ended Australia's 31-match unbeaten run at the venue as the tourists pulled off one of the all-time great Test victories, leaving Pant thrilled.

"This is one of the biggest moments of my life now, and I'm happy that all the support staff and all my team-mates supported me even when I wasn't playing," he said during an on-field presentation.

"It's been a dream series. The team management always backs me and tells me, you are a match-winner and you have to go win the match for the team.

"I keep thinking every day that I want to win matches for India, and I did it today. It was a fifth-day pitch and the ball was turning a bit. I thought I have to be disciplined with my shot selection."

Ajinkya Rahane was almost lost for words to sum up his feelings, having come in as stand-in captain after Virat Kohli returned home to attend the birth of his child.

"It really means a lot to us. I don't know how to describe this victory. I'm just proud of all the boys, each and every individual," said Rahane, who contributed a brisk 24 from 22 balls in the final innings.

"We just wanted to give our best, not to think about the result. When I went in, conversation between me and [Cheteshwar] Pujara was Puji to bat normal and me to go for my shots, because we knew Rishabh and Mayank [Agarwal] were there.

"Credit to Pujara, the way he handled the pressure was magnificent, and Rishabh was brilliant in the end."

Having bowled India out for 36 to win the opening Test, Australia were left to rue a series that slipped from their grasp.

Captain Tim Paine conceded India deserved their success and urged his own team to look forward to the challenges ahead.

He said: "Absolutely disappointed.

"We came here to win the Test and win the series, it's been a bit of a trend that we were found wanting in the key moments and completely outplayed by a tough Indian side that fully deserves the win.

"I think there's lots of things we'll look back at, but what's done is done. We need to look forward now, there's a big series in South Africa coming up, we've been outplayed by the better side in this series."

India retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy after an enthralling three-wicket win over Australia in the final Test in Brisbane.

Led by Shubman Gill (91), Rishabh Pant (89 not out) and Cheteshwar Pujara (56), India incredibly passed their target of 328 late on day five on Tuesday.

It wrapped up a 2-1 series victory and ended Australia's stellar record at the Gabba, where they were unbeaten in their previous 31 Tests.

Pat Cummins (4-55) was the pick of Australia's bowlers, but India managed the third highest successful chase in their history and highest at the Gabba.

Rohit Sharma (7) fell early after edging Cummins behind, but Gill and Pujara blunted the Australia attack with a 114-run partnership.

Gill was the aggressor, while Pujara survived a tight lbw review off Nathan Lyon (2-85) when on just two.

Lyon had Gill caught by Steve Smith at first slip before Cummins removed Ajinkya Rahane following the captain's 22-ball 24.

The second new ball brought a much-needed breakthrough for Australia as Cummins finally got Pujara lbw, but Pant continued to impress.

As the dangerous Pant passed 50, Mayank Agarwal (9) survived following a review for a caught behind, but he scooped Cummins to Matthew Wade at short cover the following ball.

Washington Sundar (22 off 29) came and went, but Pant saw India to a remarkable win.

 

Pant times his run to perfection

His wicketkeeping often questioned, Pant produced the match-winning innings on the final day – and he timed it to perfection.

Just three overs were left when India wrapped up their victory, Pant perfectly choosing when to attack and keeping his composure as late wickets fell to lead India to a famous win.

Pujara highlights India bravery

Pujara's innings was just another example of India's fight throughout the series. The right-hander faced 211 balls in the second innings and he was hit repeatedly, including on the hand and in the head, but continued to battle on.

India were struck hard by injuries and saw Virat Kohli return home for the birth of his first child following the opening Test, which they lost after being dismissed for 36. Rahane stepped up in Melbourne and they managed to frustrate Australia in Sydney before a stunning victory in Brisbane.

Starc's struggles hurt Australia

Seemingly dealing with a hamstring injury on the final day, Mitchell Starc's struggles continued as he finished with figures of 0-75.

The left-arm paceman was particularly expensive and barely troubled India, who managed to contain him throughout the series. Starc finished with 11 wickets at 40.72 for the series, while the tourists also had answers to Lyon (nine wickets at 55.11).

Australia face a race against time to win the fourth Test and reclaim the Border-Gavaskar trophy from India after rain wreaked havoc on day four in Brisbane.

Tim Paine's Australia batted for most of Monday and set India 328 for victory in the series decider after the hosts were bowled out for 294 midway through an extended final session.

India were 4-0 when the covers were brought out at 16:35 local time and stayed on at the Gabba, where the tourists require 324 more runs to win but only need a draw to retain the Border-Gavaskar crown, with the series deadlocked.

Australia resumed on 21-0 before Mohammed Siraj – who claimed his maiden five-for – spearheaded a chaotic collapse after the home team lost 34-4 in the morning session.

Openers Marcus Harris (38) and David Warner (48) fell victim to Shardul Thakur (4-61) and Washington Sundar (1-80) respectively, before Siraj stole the show by dismissing Marnus Labuschagne (25) and Matthew Wade (0) within three deliveries – leaving Australia 123-4.

After dropping Steve Smith on 42 and Cameron Green on 14, Siraj held his nerve to claim the prized scalp of the former Australia skipper for 55.

Green (37) did not last much longer as Thakur also sent Paine (27) back to the pavilion, with the Australians 242-7.

After umpires brought the tea break forward due to wet weather, Australia's tail tried to add to the total – Pat Cummins' unbeaten 28 and a quick-fire 13 from spinner Nathan Lyon aiding their cause.

India pair Rohit Sharma (4 not out) and Shubman Gill (0) will return to the crease as the thrilling series heads for a draw.

 

Siraj celebrates maiden five-for

It was a day to remember for Siraj, who broke through for his first five-wicket haul in Test cricket.

After making his Test debut on Boxing Day in Melbourne, the 26-year-old has made an immediate impact for the touring side.

All eyes on Paine

Has Paine given Australia enough time to win and reclaim the Border-Gavaskar trophy? With wet weather in Brisbane, his decision to bat for much of the penultimate day before being bowled out has raised questions.

More rain is forecast for Tuesday.

Shardul Thakur and Washington Sundar halted Australia's momentum before India were bowled out for 336 on a frustrating day for the hosts in the fourth Test at the Gabba.

Australia appeared on track to clean up India's batting line-up and maintain a healthy lead on day three of the final match after leaving the tourists in a perilous position of 186-6, but unheralded pair Shardul (67) and Sundar (62) put on a remarkable 123-run stand.

Josh Hazlewood's five-wicket haul finally helped put an end to India's stubborn resistance – Australia heading into their second innings with a 33-run advantage on Sunday.

David Warner (20 not out) and Marcus Harris (1 not out) saw out the remaining half-hour of play to lead Australia to 21-0 at stumps, a lead of 54 runs, as Tim Paine's side face a race against time to win the Test and reclaim the Border-Gavaskar trophy.

After rain wreaked havoc on Saturday, India resumed 62-2 in response to Australia's first-innings 369 in Brisbane, where Hazlewood (5-57) and Mitchell Starc (2-88) managed to claim the prized scalps of Cheteshwar Pujara (25) and captain Ajinkya Rahane (37) in the morning session.

Hazlewood removed Mayank Agarwal (38) with the second delivery after lunch, and the Australia star almost dismissed Rishabh Pant (23) to leave India 186-6.

But Shardul and Sundar combined to sensationally thwart Australia, who toiled tirelessly before eventually bowling out India.

Star Australia opener Warner then raced out the blocks with a quick-fire 20 runs, including three boundaries, to navigate a tricky end to the day.

 

India duo come to the rescue

A remarkable seventh-wicket stand kept Australia at bay and clawed India within touching distance of the hosts' first-innings total.

It was an unlikely pairing that rescued India – Sundar celebrating a half-century on his Test debut, while Shardul also raised his bat for a maiden Test fifty.

Hazlewood huffs and puffs

For the second time in the blockbuster series, Hazlewood recorded a five-for against India.

It was far from easy for Australia, but Hazlewood battled as Pujara, Agarwal, Pant, Navdeep Saini (5) and Mohammed Siraj (13) fell victim to the fast bowler.

India held firm to deny Australia and secure an incredible draw in the third Test in Sydney on Monday.

Australia looked in position to take a 2-1 series lead, needing eight wickets on the final day at the SCG, but were left frustrated by a stubborn India batting line-up and costly dropped catches.

Rishabh Pant (97), Cheteshwar Pujara (77), Hanuma Vihari (23 off 161 balls) and Ravichandran Ashwin (39 off 128 balls) helped ensure India were level heading into the final Test in Brisbane starting on Friday.

The SCG pitch played few tricks on day five, and Pant even had India dreaming of an amazing win, the tourists eventually finishing at 334-5, 73 runs adrift of a victory they stopped chasing after Vihari hurt his hamstring.

Josh Hazlewood (2-39) and Nathan Lyon (2-114) made breakthroughs, but Australia were unable to do enough in a Test they looked destined to win as Tim Paine dropped three catches.

Australia landed an early blow as Lyon had Ajinkya Rahane (4) caught at short leg by Matthew Wade.

But Pant – who suffered an elbow injury on Saturday – was put down twice by Paine, on three and 56, off Lyon, and he counter-attacked superbly to put the pressure on the off-spinner.

Pujara brought up 6,000 Test runs, the 11th Indian to achieve the feat as he continued to frustrate Australia.

Pant looked capable of leading India to a shock victory before falling just short of a third Test century, caught by Pat Cummins at gully after trying to attack Lyon again.

The second new ball brought a key wicket for Australia as Hazlewood produced a wonderful delivery to bowl Pujara.

 

A pair of reviews were unable to get Ashwin, who was dropped on 15, a diving Sean Abbott – on for the injured Will Pucovski (shoulder) – unable to hold onto a tough chance.

Vihari and Ashwin, showing no intent to score, remained stoic and defended well against an increasingly desperate Australia.

Paine dropped another chance after Vihari edged a Mitchell Starc (0-66) delivery and it proved to be the final opportunity as India held on for a draw.

Australia are well-placed in the third Test against India after a strong day three in Sydney on Saturday.

After Pat Cummins (4-29) and a brilliant fielding display saw India dismissed for 244 in response to Australia's first-innings 338, the hosts reached 103-2 at stumps – a lead of 197 runs.

Cheteshwar Pujara (50) led India's batting effort, but they lost 49-6 to finish their innings as the SCG pitch began to show signs of uneven bounce.

Making matters worse for the tourists, Rishabh Pant (left elbow) and Ravindra Jadeja (left thumb) were taken for scans after suffering blows while batting.

Marnus Labuschagne (47) and Steve Smith (29), who led Australia's first-innings batting effort, were unbeaten at stumps as the hosts put themselves in position to take a 2-1 series lead.

It came after some wonderful fielding and a fine bowling display by Cummins reduced India.

Cummins had Ajinkya Rahane (22) playing on for the first breakthrough of day three before Josh Hazlewood (2-43) stepped up in the field.

The Australia paceman moved to his right at mid-off before quickly unleashing a throw while diving to run out Hanuma Vihari (4).

Pant responded for India but he struggled after a blow to his elbow and was caught at first slip by David Warner off Hazlewood.

Cummins had the dangerous Pujara caught behind, while Ravichandran Ashwin (10) was run out and Labuschagne produced a wonderful direct hit to also run out Jasprit Bumrah (0).

Jadeja (28 not out) played some nice shots and India were boosted by a couple of quick wickets to begin Australia's innings.

Mohammed Siraj (1-20) had Will Pucovski (10) caught behind and Warner (13) was trapped lbw by Ashwin (1-28), but Smith and Labuschagne steadied the innings to ensure Australia stayed in control.

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