Batting mainstay Cheteshwar Pujara on Tuesday continued to bat like his usual self, despite coping numerous blows on his hands and helmet, as he helped India reach 183/3 at Tea on the last day of the fourth and final Test against Australia at The Gabba.
At the end of the second session in which 100 runs were scored in 25 overs, the match was nicely placed as India need 145 more to register what would be an incredible win while the hosts need seven wickets to seal the four-match series.
Earlier, resuming the session at 83/1, talented opener Shubman Gill continued to play positively and alongside Pujara, collected runs at a brisk rate. The 21-year-old, who looked reasonably comfortable against the Australian pace attack which resorted to short-pitched stuff, looked all set for what would have been a well-deserved century before he got caught in slips by Steve Smith against Nathan Lyon at his individual score of 91.
Skipper Ajinkya Rahane, who came in next, looked positive right from the word go and shared a quick 35-run stand with Pujara.
Rahane, after contributing with 24 off just 22 balls to India’s total, however got out caught behind against Pat Cummins.
India then sent in Pant, instead of Mayank Agarwal, clearly signalling their intentions of going for the win. Pujara (43*) and Pant (10*) then added unbeaten 16 runs off 37 balls before the Tea break.
Earlier, in the morning session, India lost the wicket of Rohit Sharma (7) but scored 79 runs as Gill and Pujara didn’t allow Australia to make inroads into the Indian batting line-up.
India had scored 336 in their first innings in reply to Australia’s 369. The visitors then bowled out Australia for 294 in their second innings, thus setting themselves a target of 328.
Brief scores: India 336 and 183/3 at Tea (Shubman Gill 91, Cheteshwar Pujara 43*; Pat Cummins 2/22) vs Australia 369 and 294.