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Posted at: Mar 20, 2017, 2:31 AM; last updated: Mar 20, 2017, 2:31 AM (IST)

Day of frustration for Aussies

More sledging, more bad blood

199Runs stand between Saha and Pujara

  • An Indian partnership record for the seventh-wicket vs Australia in Tests, eclipsing the 132 by Hemu Adhikari and Vijay Hazare at Adelaide in 1947-48

Sabi Hussain

Tribune News Service

Ranchi, march 19

Frustration — that’s what Cheteshwar Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha brought to the Australians today. India’s innings lasted 210 overs, and the 77.4 overs Australia had to bowl to Pujara and No. 8 Saha caused them great irritation. They began to lose cool, wasted their DRS reviews, began to bowl outside the leg-stump and the sledging became more intense.

Josh Hazelwood, Glenn Maxwell and David Warner engaged Pujara and Saha in verbal duels, though it didn’t help the Australians.

Pujara, usually very cool in the middle, also fired a few verbal volleys at Hazelwood. As Hazelwood and Pat Cummins continuously bowled down the leg side, Pujara gestured at Hazelwood, as if to say ‘there’s no way you are going to get me out this way’.

In the post-lunch session, Hazelwood’s appeal for a catch against Pujara was turned down. After the over, as the drinks came on, Hazelwood said something to Pujara, who responded by showing him his bat. Maxwell and Warner, too, joined in and exchanged a few words with Pujara. Saha intervened and told them to leave. Umpires Ian Gould and Chris Gaffaney were forced to intervene to prevent the situation from escalating. Later, the umpires had separate interactions with Smith and the two Indian batsmen.

“Pujara told Hazelwood to look at the scoreboard. He told him ‘we will score more’,” Saha later said. “They said something to me as well. I told them ‘go and bowl quietly’.”

Bad blood

The two teams have not set a good example with their behaviour in this Test too. Yesterday, Virat Kohli cheered from the dressing room after Australia’s failed DRS review against Pujara. Then, when Kohli came to bat, Maxwell mocked the Indian skipper’s shoulder injury by clutching his own shoulder and flashing a broad grin. Kohli returned the favour today when David Warner was dismissed by Ravindra Jadeja — the Indian skipper broke into a wild celebration and clutched his own right shoulder. He did this on two occasions, and Smith seemed quite annoyed.

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