Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara (40*) had plundered runs in the morning session, bringing up a 100-run partnership without much fuss.
Pujara and Saha’s outstanding effort helped India comfortably ascended into a 152-run before the innings was declared on 603/9.
The four-match series is now level at 1-1 after Australia won the series opener at Pune by 333 runs, and India levelled with a 75-run win in Bangalore.
He will put his feet up for a few days, after a marathon home season, and then head to the nets, watched by Arvind, his father who has also been his coach. First Saha was given out when he was batting on 19 and the score was 362/6.
But he was out in Lyon’s next over, lobbing a catch to midwicket. The star batsman had injured his right shoulder after an awkward fall while fielding during Australia’s innings on Thursday and stayed off the field for 400 minutes before taking crease.
“In a match there is always some talk on the field”, Saha recalled.
So when Saha joined Pujara out in the middle at JSCA International Stadium on Saturday evening, their partnership was what could make or break India.
“This is the best among the three (Test hundreds) I have”, Saha told reporters.
The tourists, who dismissed Saha for 19 and Pujara for 157 only for both lbw verdicts to be overturned upon review, showed increasing signs of fatigue and frustration as the day wore on. The gloveman’s knock included 8 boundaries and 1 six.
Nathon Lyon is the most successful off-spinner in the Australia’s cricket history. Playing his second test more than five years after his first, Australia paceman Pat Cummins (4-106) almost completed a five-wicket haul when Saha was given out leg-before. The way Pujara was batting, it didn’t seem we would lose a wicket. The off-spinner could not add anymore wicket and his figures at the end of the first innings read 46-2-163-1.
Cheteshwar Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha scored hundreds to gain a formidable lead against Australia.
A bigger blow awaited Australia in the next over when Jadeja, who already has eight wickets in the match to go with an unbeaten fifty with the bat, spun one past Smith’s advancing pad and uprooted the off-stump. To do this, they will need to bat deep into the final session.
Pujara has played five ODIs for 54 runs, and the chances are that he will never get another white-ball game for India. In addition to this, the Australian vice-captain is yet to score a fifty in the series. Jadeja will be itching to exploit this rough.