Cheteshwar Pujara (79*) and Ajinkya Rahane (40*) led India's fightback as they stitched together an unbeaten stand of 93 runs for the 5th wicket and ended the day with 208/4 with the vital lead of 121 runs. Australia, who resumed play at 237/6 made 39 runs in the day and earned a lead of 87 runs. In reply to Australia's total, India were cruising well before Josh Hazlewood ran through India's top order including Abhinav Mukund, Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja. Opener KL Rahul again proved his mettle by scoring his 4th Test fifty but Steve Smith took a blinder at slips to send him back to the pavilion. India will look to pile on the runs tomorrow and look to give a competitive total to Australia to chase. (SCORECARD)
Catch the highlights of India vs Australia, Day 3, here
17:05 IST: That's it from us!! Hope you enjoyed our coverage. Adios!!
17:00 IST: KL Rahul: It is disappointing getting starts and not being able to convert them especially when the team needs me to stay and get big runs. But am happy with the way I have performed for my team. Going from strength to strength. Rahane and Pujara's partnership was brilliant. The team really needed them at that stage. Who better than these two to do it for us. A 100 more runs will be gold for India. I have played a lot of cricket here for the Karnataka team and we know that the cracks will start opening up on the fourth day and the longer we bat the harder it is going to get for Australia.
16:59 IST: So, Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara have saved India the blushes and now, they will look to extend their lead to give Australia a strong target
And so, there is a long long way to go in this match. I thought days 2 & 3 would determine India's future in the series. They probably have.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) March 6, 2017
— BCCI (@BCCI) March 6, 2017
16:30 IST: STUMPS!!! India end Day 3 with 212/4 Without losing a wicket in this session. The hosts lead by 126 runs. Ajinkya Rahane 40*, Cheteshwar Pujara 79*
16:24 IST: FOUR!! Edges past Ajinkya Rahane's bat and goes for a boundary.
16:22 IST: So, Mitchell Starc comes into the attack now. Can he provide a much needed breakthrough?
16:20 IST: India's lead now moves on to 120 runs
16:17 IST: FOUR!! Ooh!! That misses everyone. 4 byes for the hosts
16:15 IST: 200 comes up for India. Can there be a turnaround? Still a long way to go
16:08 IST: FOUR!! Confident shot by Ajinkya Rahane and he moves on to 38 now
16:05 IST: Pujara and Rahane have stitched together a stand of 73 runs now which becomes the highest partnership of the series for India
16:00 IST: FOUR!! Pujara plays it fine as India's lead goes over 100.
15:55 IST: Steve O'Keefe comes into the attack now. India are 186/4 and lead by 99 runs
15:53 IST: Turn and bounce for Lyon and almost took the wicket
15:49 IST: It seems that the pitch has improved a bit, the ball is coming onto the bat nicely. Or may be, the batsmen have applied themselves well because both, Pujara and Rahane, look very confident now.
15:44 IST: FOUR!! Ajinkya Rahane changes the guard to off-stump and sweeps well from outside off. Connected well for four runs.
15:43 IST: Shouts of 'nice gary' from behind for Nathan Lyon
15:42 IST: FOUR!! Late-cut and Pujara hits it so fine. He gets a boundary again
15:40 IST: The good thing is that India have not lost any wicket in this session. India are 163/4 after 56 overs. Pujara 51*, Rahane 22*
15:28 IST: Fifty!! Very well made half-century by Cheteshwar Pujara. 50 off 125 balls
15:22 IST: Ajinkya Rahane has scored with an average of 39.07 in the current home season. In 9 matches he has accumulated 586 runs so far.
15:15 IST: Pujara is nearing his 14th fifty now. He really needs to stay there to extend India's lead. It's 66 now
15:05 IST: O'Keefe is brought back into the attack. Just one run from his over. India 149/4 (Pujara 44*, Rahane 15*)
14:58 IST: Lyon putting Rahane under some serious pressure here. The Indian batsman has defended well so far, but it's clearly not going to be easy to bat here for long.
14:47 IST: Patient innings from Pujara so far. He is unbeaten on 42. Can he help India set up a big total here?
14:38 IST: Two runs off Hazlewood's over. Pujara keeps the strike.
14:34 IST: FOUR!! Pujara steps out and drives through the covers for a boundary. So, 8 runs in the first two balls
14:32 IST: FOUR!!! Tossed up delivery and it goes for a boundary. 4 byes
14:30 IST: Welcome back after the tea break
14:10 IST: It's TEA!! India are 122/4, lead Australia by 35 runs. Cheteshwar Pujara 34*, Ajinkya Rahane 2*
14:07 IST: OUT!! Knocking Ravindra Jadeja's wicket out of the ground. He is cleaned up by Josh Hazlewood. India lose their fourth wicket
14:02 IST: Rapped on the pads and the umpire shakes his head. May be going outside leg
14:00 IST: First time in his career, Jadeja is batting at No.5 for India
13:58 IST: Interesting, Ravindra Jadeja walks in at No.5
13:57 IST: FOUR!! Pujara pulls it for a boundary
13:49 IST: OUT!!! And he has given it. There was no conclusive evidence so the third umpire Richard Kettleborough stayed with the original decision, Kohli falls and India in trouble again
13:46 IST: The ball hit the bat definitely but the third umpire doesn't look sure whether it hit the bat or pad first
13:45 IST: Big appeal and the umpire raises his finger. Kohli says it's bat and quickly goes for the review
13:41 IST: FOUR!! Loosener by Josh Hazlewood and too easy for the Indian captain
13:40 IST: 100 up for India and a loud cheer from the crowd
13:27 IST: Just a single and it's poor running. Virat Kohli doesn't look happy with Pujara. India are 94/2 after 29 overs, lead Australia by 7 runs. Pujara 23*, Kohli 2*
13:14 IST: OUT!!! What a catch by Steve Smith. He makes up for the early drop. KL Rahul departs for 51 off Steve O'Keefe and India now 84/2
13:07 IST: Fifty!!! Second half-century of the match by KL Rahul
13:06 IST: Two runs towards mid wicket and Rahul moves on to 49 now
13:05 IST: FOUR!!! Great shot by Rahul and the ball went like a tracer bullet. Indians are cruising now and both these batsmen have steadied the ship after Mukund's wicket
13:03 IST: KL Rahul is nearing his 4th Test half-century. He has played well for his 43 and look very comfortable
13:00 IST: India are 74/1 after 22 overs, trail Australia by 13 runs. KL Rahul 43*, Cheteshwar Pujara 13*
India looking for 300+— Michael Clarke (@MClarke23) March 6, 2017
12:48 IST: FOUR! Half volley on the pads and Rahul helps it along with a flick
12:42 IST: Rahul drives towards sweeper cover for a double, and completes 1,000 Test runs in the process. India 52/1
12:38 IST: FOUR!! Plays it with soft hands and guides it while angling the bat towards the third man
12:31 IST: This is Abhinav Mukund's 6th Test & 1st in India but the Chennai-born failed to make a mark in Bengaluru. His highest score has been 62 in 6 Test matches and averages just over 20.
12:27 IST: EDGE!! Put down by the Australian skipper at slips. Cheteshwar Pujara survives. Again straight deliveries troubling the right-handed batsman
BOWLED HIM! That's a beauty from Hazlewood. Mukund's stumps have been dismantled and he's on his way for 16. India 1-39 #INDvAUS— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) March 6, 2017
12:21 IST: Cheteshwar Pujara is the new batsman in
12:15 IST: OUT!!! Sound of timber as Abhinav Mukund is out bowled!!! Hazlewood strikes for Australia. India lose their first wicket
12:10 IST: Welcome back after the lunch break.
Australia's advantage slipping away rapidly now. Fine start by Rahul and Mukund. Openers need to wipe out lead for match to tilt India's way— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) March 6, 2017
11:30 IST: It's LUNCH!! India are 38/0 after 10 overs, trail Australia by 49 runs . KL Rahul 20*, Abhinav Mukund 16*
11:29 IST: Nathon Lyon to continue and should be the last over before lunch
11:25 IST: India are 34/0 after 8 overs, trail India by 53 runs. KL Rahul 17*, Abhinav Mukund 15*
11:23 IST: SIX!! Top edge off Abhinav Mukund's bat and that's up in the air!!! It goes for a maximum
It is a significant lead and India will have to overhaul no more than 1 or, at worst, 2 down. Will put pressure back on Australia.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) March 6, 2017
11:15 IST: India's nemesis in the first innings, Nathon Lyon comes into the attack and he is on a hat-trick
11:05 IST: FOUR!! A friendly full-toss to Abhinav Mukund and he flicks it for a boundary. Just what he wanted.
10:58 IST: FOUR!! Short of a man in form. Overpitched by Hazlewood and Rahul leaned forward for a boundary. India are 12/0
10:57 IST: Josh Hazlewood to share the new ball
10:54 IST: FOUR!! Too easy for Rahul. Starc pitches the ball on the leg stump and Rahul flicks it away nicely for a boundary
ALL OUT! Jadeja finishes with six wickets as Hazlewood skies one. Australia all out for 276 and lead by 87 runs #INDvAUS— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) March 6, 2017
10:51 IST: Big appeal!!! Turned down by the umpire
Fine effort by India this morning to clean up Aus innings so quickly. 87-run lead not insubstantial though. Solid opening partnership needed— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) March 6, 2017
10:50 IST: Abhinav Mukund and KL Rahul come to the crease and Mitchell Starc to bowl the first over for Australia
10:41 IST: OUT!!! Hazlewood goes for a big one and gets caught at the long-on boundary. Jadeja picks up his 6th wicket. Australia all-out for 276 in 122.4 overs, lead India by 87 runs
10:35 IST: Ravindra Jadeja has picked up the 7th 5-wicket haul of his career.
10:33 IST: OUT!! It's a straight delivery and no bat involved. Third umpire stands by the decision
10:30 IST: Quicker delivery by Jadeja and thuds into Nathon Lyon's pad. Appeal for an LBW and the umpire raises the finger. Australia are going for the review again
10:26 IST: OUT!!! It's a plumb in front and Wade has to depart for 40. Well played innings by him. Australia lose their 8th wicket and Jadeja gets his 4th
10:25 IST: Rapped on the pads and Jadeja appeals!!! Given out by the umpire, but the Australians are going for a review
117.6: WICKET! M Starc (26) is out, c Ravindra Jadeja b Ravichandran Ashwin, 269/7— BCCI (@BCCI) March 6, 2017
10:18 IST: OUT!! Starc goes for the slog sweep and good catch by Ravindra Jadeja at the mid-wicket boundary. R Ashwin strikes
10:16 IST: REVIEW!!! Replays show that it hit nothing and the decision overturned by the third umpire. Starc survives
10:15 IST: Huge appeal for a caught behind and the umpire gives it out. Hang on!!! Starc is going for the review
10:12 IST: FOUR!!! Superb use of the feet byy Matthew Wade. He steps out and smashes it for a boundary
10:07 IST: So, the frustration for India as the edges are going for runs regularly. It is proving them so costly
10:05 IST: Jadeja has been the most successful bowler in this Test for India and he has bowled the least number of overs. Ashwin has bowled 45 overs so far and Jadeja only 17.
09:58 IST: FOUR!! Wide outside the off-stump by Ishant Sharma and Wade goes for the shot. Takes the thick edge of the bat and Pujara slides but could not save the boundary at third man
09:56 IST: Australia are 249/6 after 112 overs, lead India by 60 runs. Matthew Wade 25*, Mitchell Starc 21*
09:45 IST: Australia are already 56 runs ahead already and it's only the third over of the day. These are costly runs for them. Getting difficult for Virat Kohli brigade
09:35 IST: FOUR!! Beats everyone and it goes for four byes
09:30 IST: So, the players are at the crease now. Ishant Sharma to start the proceedings for India and Matthew Wade to face the first ball
09:15 IST: India's task on Day 3 will be to ensure that they remove the rest of Australia's batting as soon as possible. More than 100-run lead will make it very tough for the Indian batsmen
09:10 IST: "There is enough wear and tear to keep the spinners interested. Batsmen will have to watchout for the variable bounce with both the spinners and the fast bowlers," says Ravi Shastri. Matthew Hayden adds that there are massive cracks that are threatening to open and that is exactly in the spot where Mitchell Starc lands the ball and it could be tough for the Indian batsmen.
09:00 IST: Hello and welcome to the live blog
Shaun Marsh played a very good hand of 66 before Umesh Yadav got the better of the Australian left-hander. Both the Indian seamers - Ishant Sharma and Umesh - bowled their hearts out, but had little to show in the wickets column.
The morning session of the third day's play could well turn out to be a decisive session, not only for the Test match but also for the series. The Indians would look to pick up the last four wickets as early as possible on Day 3.
For the hosts, it is imperative that they get rid of the deficit without losing too many wickets and bat sensibly on a track that is beginning to keep low at times.
The Indian team would be mindful of their recent poor batting performances, as they will have to put up a competitive total for Australia to chase in their final innings.