Steve Smith’s second century this series dominated the first day of the third Test between India and Australia in Ranchi. The Australia captain’s unbeaten 117 took the visitors to 299/4 at stumps. Glenn Maxwell was unbeaten on 82 at the other end, his highest ever Test score. Together, they stitched a partnership of 159 runs to bail end the day firmly in Australia’s favour.

For India, Umesh Yadav was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets, including that of opener Matt Renshaw and Peter Handscomb, who was the last wicket to fall.

Earlier, Smith had won the toss and elected to bat in the first ever Test at Ranchi. The pitch, that was under much debate before the match, looked hard and the outfield was very fast as the Aussie openers David Warner and Renshaw scored at a brisk pace.

India off to good start

The first breakthrough came for India after Ravindra Jadeja was introduced and in the 10th over. Warner offered a return catch off a full toss and Jadeja’s quick reflexes saw him grab it to dismiss the Australian deputy on 19.

Renshaw, who looked in good touch, scoring his first 24 runs only through boundaries, was out next. Yadav got the young opener to edge one to first slip on 44, where Virat Kohli held on to a simple catch.

Shaun Marsh was the third wicket to fall, off Ravichandran Ashwin’s bowling for two runs. Ashwin turned one in and there was a hint of a bat-pad edge that carried to Cheteshwar Pujara at forward short-leg. Pujara took a stunning catch, diving to his left and the wicket was given after a successful DRS review. This was India’s first successful referral while fielding in this series.

The first session belonged completely to India as Australia went in for lunch at 109/3, with Smith on 34 and Peter Handscomb batting on six. In the second session, Smith and Handscomb put together a partnership of 51 runs, before the latter was trapped LBW by Umesh on 19.

Australia claw back

Glenn Maxwell was the next man in, having replaced the injured Mitchell Marsh in the team. In only his fourth Test, Maxwell played a flamboyant innings of 82, including two sixes. This was his longest innings in international cricket and, together with his captain, he wrested the momentum back from India.

Smith, who was stuck in the nineties for almost an hour as Maxwell took the lead, finally reached his 19th Test ton with a four. His celebration was rather subdued as he raised his bat and helmet and acknowledged the dressing room. This was Smith’s sixth ton against India, after the match-winning one in the first Test at Pune, and 11th as captain.

While Smith and Maxwell piled on the runs, India had more bad news in store as captain Kohli was off the field for a large part of the day due to what looked like a shoulder injury. Kohli hurt his right shoulder as he landed heavily on it while trying to save a boundary at deep midwicket in the 40th over. The impact was jarring and he was seen wincing as he held his shoulder in pain.

The Indian team physio Patrick Farhart rushed on to the field and escorted him off. Kohli was seen applying an ice pack immediately to right shoulder for a considerable period of time in the dressing room. The India captain did not take the field for the remainder of the day as Ajinkya Rahane took over the mantle. The extent of the injury hasn’t been determined as yet and he was reported to be going to a hospital for further examination.

India will have a task at hand when they take the field on the second day.