Cheteshwar Pujara scored a path-breaking double century against Australia on Sunday to not just take India out of trouble in the third Test but also give the hosts the lead and in turn a chance of victory at the JSCA International Staidum Complex in Ranchi. This was Pujara's third double century in Test cricket and second against Australia. He had scored an unbeaten 206 against England in Ahmedabad in 2012 and 204 against Australia in Hyderabad in 2013.
However, this double century came at a crucial time given the circumstances of the match and the series. A loss in Ranchi would mean that India would not be able to win back the prestigious Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Also, Pujara played the anchor's knock as he kept losing partners at regular intervals until wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha came to the crease, who also ended up scoring his third Test century and helped India take the lead in the match. Saha's knock of 117 was also his highest score in Test cricket.
Interestingly, Pujara's knock was the longest innings, in terms of balls faced, by an Indian batsman, going past Rahul Dravid's record of playing 495 balls while scoring a magnificent 270 against Pakistan in Rawalpindi in 2004.
Pujara earlier also went past VVS Laxman's epic knock of 281 for which the wristy batsman faced 452 deliveries against Australia at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata in 2001. That was previously the longest knock by an Indian batsman on home soil.
The Saurashtra batsman, who had reached his 11th Test hundred on Saturday, also joined an elite league by scoring his 202. He is now one of three Indian batsmen, along with legends Sachin Tendulkar and Laxman, to have two double centuries against Australia.
Pujara eventually got out while trying to accelerate off spinner Nathan Lyon to become the first Indian wicket to fall on Day 4 of the third Test. Looking to punch a short ball away, he chipped the ball to Glenn Maxwell at short midwicket.