Cheteshwar Pujara's gritty century was fantastic, says Australia assistant coach

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Ranchi, March 19: Australia team's assistant coach David Saker feels that was still 'evenly-poised' terming Cheteshwar Pujara's gritty century as a "fantastic effort".

Day 3 report; Photos

"We really put them under pressure a lot of pressure. They absorbed them, especially Pujara who played a fantastic innings. In the middle session, I think they had the better of us. It's just great test match cricket," Saker said at the news conference after the day three's proceedings.

Australian captain Steve Smith congratulating Indian batsman C.Pujara at the end of 3rd day's play.

Playing through the whole day, Pujara remained unbeaten on 130 in his stay at the crease for nearly eight hours.

"It's great Test match cricket. The first and third sessions were as good as I have seen Australians play. It's quite evenly poised."

At the moment, the Aussies are 91 runs ahead but with Pujara holding fort at the moment, India's chances are getting brighter.

"We're still nearly just under 100 runs ahead, we are still ahead of the game but they are getting closer every over."

Indian skipper Virat Kohli was seen clapping from the balcony after Australia exhausted their DRS quota in the first 80 overs. With Aussies running out of review, Murali Vijay on 58 survived as he had a faint edge to be taken at short leg but umpire ruled it out and Aussies did not have any choice.

"I know he came out and clapped, I don't know if it was directed at anyone in particular but that's the way he (Kohli) has been playing this series," Saker said.

"It's a really cut-throat series for everyone and it's first versus second, there's a lot of pressure on him (Kohli) at the moment. And there's pressure on everyone at the moment. I don't think it was directed at anything, I just think when you lose your two reviews it’s a bit of a relief to the opposition and he probably just showed that."

Saker went on to praise Glenn Maxwell for his exceptional fielding at mid-on to save a boundary as the three runs by Pujara off Pat Cummins brought Kohli on strike and the next ball he was dismissed for six.

"It's very satisfying getting Virat Kohli out cheaply, that's for sure. There is not set plan as to how we are going to get him out, we just try to put as much pressure on certain batters when they come in. Saker termed Mxwell's chase to keep Kohli on strike was a superb effort.

"We have had some good success against him in this series, without a doubt. I think Glenn Maxwell's chase to keep Kohli on strike was superb, and these are the sort of little things that we talk a lot about in the dressing rom. If we do the little things really well then the big things look after themselves."

"That chase kept Virat Kohli on strike, we got the wicket very next ball so little things like that are really important for us. We will keep concentrating on things like that."

PTI 

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