Fri, Mar 17, 9:13am by Head Editor
A brilliant 159-run partnership by the world’s best batsmen Steve Smith and the much-maligned Glenn Maxwell has put Australia in a strong position after the first day’s play in the Third Test in Ranchi.
The stand, which is the biggest partnership of the series to date, came at a crucial time for the Aussies and a crucial time for Glenn Maxwell, who showed more patience that we’ve seen from him in his entire Test career.
He is 82 not out – his highest Test score in his first appearance in the baggy green for two and a half years.
Smith’s 19th Test century came in just his 97th innings and sees the 27-year-old become the seventh fastest of all time to the mark. He’s also the third fastest Australian behind Don Bradman (56 innings) and Matthew Hayden (95 innings).
Making matters even worse for the Indians was the shoulder injury that their skipper Virat Kohli suffered when he dived full stretch trying to save a boundary.
The incident occurred just half an hour after lunch and kept the world’s number four batsmen (according to the latest rankings) off the field for the three and a half hours that remained in the day’s play.
He went for scans on Thursday night and the results will be announced before play on Friday and quite honestly, could have a huge bearing on the series. Should he miss the rest of this match and the fourth and final Test in Dharamsala, then India would be left rudderless and behind the eight ball.
If Maxwell and Smith can bat until lunch on Friday it will go a long way to batting India out of the game. You can never write India off though on a pitch that is playing – so far at least, much better than we’ve seen in the opening two Tests.
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