Smith leads from the front

2017-03-17 08:44
Steve Smith (Getty Images)

Ranchi - Australia captain Steve Smith frustrated India's bowlers to cross 150 runs after Glenn Maxwell cracked his maiden Test century on day two of the third contest against India on Friday.

Indian left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja struck three times in the morning session, including the prized scalp of Maxwell, as the visitors reached 401-7 at lunch in Ranchi.

Australia rode on a 191-run fifth-wicket stand between overnight batsmen Smith, who was unbeaten on 153 when the break was called, and 28-year-old Maxwell's scintillating 104.

Maxwell, playing just his fourth Test since his debut in 2013, achieved his hundred with a boundary before embracing Smith and kissing the badge of his helmet.

The right-hander, known more for his explosive limited-overs exploits, played a controlled 185-ball knock laced with nine fours and two sixes before falling to Jadeja.

He edged a length delivery from the spinner and wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha took a neat catch.

Smith, who resumed the day on 117, piled further pressure on the hosts' bowling attack as he kept the run-flow going before Jadeja spun into action to take his match haul to four wickets.

Jadeja sent Matthew Wade (37) and Pat Cummins (0) trudging back to the pavilion in the space of just three deliveries but Smith, the world's number one Test batsman, batted on confidently.

Ajinkya Rahane led India after skipper Virat Kohli failed to take the field because of a right shoulder injury he suffered on Thursday but the vice-captain's rotation of bowlers brought little success.

Kohli, who picked up his injury while fielding in the afternoon session of the opening day, was expected to take to the field later on Thursday and will bat in the crucial Test.

The four-match series between the world's top two sides is tantalisingly poised at 1-1 with India needing at least a draw to have any chance of winning back the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Read more on:    australia  |  glenn maxwell  |  cricket

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