India made significant inroads into Australia's huge first innings total on day three of the fourth Test in Ahmedabad, however the hosts - particularly Cheteshwar Pujara - will be kicking themselves after two key errors. At stumps, India were 3-289, with the likelihood of a draw increasing with each delivery.
Day three was opener Shubman Gill's day however, with the recalled 23-year-old capitalising on a good start to bring up his first Test century on home soil, before eventually being trapped LBW for 128 by Nathan Lyon. He and Lyon had been engaged in a compelling battle early on in the day, however Gill showed few if any signs of relenting.
He and Cheteshwar Pujara combined for a 113-run partnership following the dismissal of Rohit Sharma for 35, but that would all come to an end with a baffling DRS referral from Pujara. Trapped by Todd Murphy in front of his stumps on 42, Pujara called for a review only to wind up red-faced.
The review showed Murhpy's delivery had trapped him completely plump - pitching in line, impact in line and hitting the stumps. He trudged back to the sheds with the Indian crowd already chanting the name of the following batter, Virat Kohli.
While it was far from Pujara's finest moment it did little to temper India's run chase, with wickets proving exceptionally hard to come by. Todd Kuhnemann managed to remove Indian captain Rohit Sharma after tempting him into a bold shot that ended up going straight into the hands of Marnus Labuschagne.
Lyon later took his 20th wicket of the series to remove Gill, with Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja unbeaten at stumps. Kohli (59 not out) will look to potentially score a long-awaited Test century, his first in three years.
On social media though, Pujara was getting a hammering for his wasted review, while even Kohli was mildly criticised for putting his helmet on while the review was taking place - perhaps preempting what the outcome was going to be.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) March 11, 2023
— Ritesh Banglani (@banglani) March 11, 2023
I don't know why Pujara reviewed that. That was plumb. Indian batters tend to waste reviews.
— कुशल मेहरा (@kushal_mehra) March 11, 2023
Poor review that from pujara
— tea_addict 🇮🇳 (@on_drive23) March 11, 2023
Even when that Pujara review was on, crowd had already started chanting “ Kohli Kohli” .. wondering what Pujara would have been thinking 💭
— rᥲȷі𝗍🇮🇳 (@imrajitd) March 11, 2023
what a waste of a review
— LKS (@Ronaldobear07) March 11, 2023
Shane Watson would have been proud of that review
— Tim Huguenin (@THuguenin) March 11, 2023
India bullish about chances after strong day at the crease
Speaking after his wicket, Gill made a prediction that might elicit some nervousness in the Australian camp. The 23-year-old said he was hopeful the wicket would offer something for the home side on day five - an indication of India's willingness to go for a draw.
"It feels great to score a hundred here as I play a lot of cricket on this ground," Gill said. "The pitch was pretty good to bat on and things were only happening off the rough.
"I was looking to pick singles and score. We will look to score big on day four, and maybe the wicket will help our bowlers on day five."
Just 13 wickets have fallen across the first three days of the Test, a dramatic turnaround from the the first three matches of the series. The contests in Nagpur, Delhi and Indore were over in less than three days as the pitches favoured spinners, with Lyon hoping conditions would give the pitch more life.
"Over here what I've learned, the black soil seems to hold together a lot better than the red soil," Lyon said. "Theres not an overly great deal of footmarks out there to hit for spinners.
"We may see it start to go up and down a little bit more, but even talking to 'Starcy' (Mitchell Starc), he's putting in a lot of effort and the ball just seems to be stopping in the wicket.
"With the warmer weather here hopefully there's still a result in this game. We've just got to bowl well in the morning on Sunday and get the pressure in their change room."
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