The 3rd test cricket match is underway between Australia and India. The match is hosted at Ranchi, a city in the eastern state of Jharkhand, about 200 km west of Calcutta. This is the first ever test match at Ranchi and is part of the cricket board's endeavour to play test matches at non-traditional test centres. The intent is to popularise the game, but the sparse crowds do not do justice to the board's decision to conduct a test match at Ranchi and Dharamsala (where the 4th test match will take place).
#Australia have won the first test at Pune and the second at Bangalore went India's way. The victory at Pune was the first test win in India after 13 years. Before the tour Indian experts had written off the team but now they are giving the Indian team a fight. They had won the first test by 333 runs and narrowly lost the second by 85 runs.
The third test was off to an auspicious start as the Aussie captain Steve Smith won the toss and chose to bat. The pitch is susceptible to spin and will turn prodigiously on the 4th and 5th day. Winning the toss was thus is half the battle won. Steve Smith chose to bat. Australia made the most of winning the toss and have posted a healthy 299 for 4 in the allotted 90 overs. In between, it appeared that Aussies will flounder for a lower score as 4 batters were back in the pavilion with just 140 on the board.
This was a crucial period and Steve Smith joined by Maxwell played good cricket. The two have put on a partnership of 159 with Steve hitting 117 not out. This took Steve past 5000 runs in test cricket. He is a wonderful player and one can see the from available stats that he is the third player in cricket history to have reached the milestone of 5000 runs in the shortest time. He is only behind the legendary Don Bradman and the Indian opener Sunil Gavaskar.
End of Day 1
Australia are in the driver's seat at the end of #Day 1 and now it is an uphill task for Kohli and co. If Australia can build up a big total of over 450, with India under pressure. The Indian bowling lacked bite and Kohli's choice of taking an extra batter in place of a spinner may prove to be a mistake.