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.