The stand between Cheteshwar Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha, which took away all chances of an Australian victory in Ranchi, dominated headlines in India and Australia on Monday (March 20), while Bangladesh’s remarkable victory in their 100th Test was celebrated.

Gaffaney’s awkward moment, and Pujara’s marathon (The Hindu)
The fourth day of the third Test between India and Australia at Ranchi gave a clear indication as to who held the edge going into the fifth. It was clearly India. Here are some observations from the day’s play.

Animated Virat Kohli gives Aussies apt reply (The Times of India)
The banters between India and Australia players in the ongoing four-Test series refuse to get over as it witnessed another incident with skipper Virat Kohli deciding to give the Aussies the taste of their own medicine on the fourth day of the third Test in Ranchi.

How broadcasters’ oversight added fuel to India-Australia fire (The Indian Express)
They say the Indian cricket captain carries the load of a billion-plus populace’s expectations on his shoulders. Over the last couple of days, however, it’s the captain’s shoulder, which kept him off the field that the entire nation has been obsessing about. For good measure so have the opposition.

For Wriddhiman Saha, a knock to remember (The Indian Express)
When Wriddhiman Saha wakes up on Monday, he will feel a lumpy red scar on the right side of his chest, where he was shellacked by a brutish Pat Cummins short ball. But instead of pain, he will feel grim satisfaction. He will show it like a rare stamp of courage, and wear
it like a pendant of understated bravado.

Lehmann content with Smith’s call on Maxi (
Australia coach Darren Lehmann says he has no qualms with Steve Smith’s decision to almost exclusively bowl the tourists’ frontline bowlers during India’s marathon first innings of the third Test.

All eyes on Pat Cummins after heavy workload in comeback Test (Sydney Morning Herald)
The highly talented quick was dealt a much heavier workload than expected, backing up three days in a row to deliver 39 overs in his comeback Test.

His tally is five short of the 44 he delivered on debut in 2011 after which he broke down. There will now be some nervous types in the Australian dressing room who will be desperately hoping their young gun comes through the match unscathed.

RIP Sri Lankan Cricket (The Island)
March 19th 2017 will go down in history as the darkest day in Sri Lankan cricket as world’s youngest cricketing nation Bangladesh stunned the hosts to record their maiden Test win over Sri Lanka at P. Sara Oval yesterday.

Ghosts of the past put to rest (Daily Star, Bangladesh)
“What’s the news? Two gone! Oh no,” a student in uniform exclaimed over phone and cursed out of frustration after learning that Bangladesh had lost two quick wickets in chase of a 191-run winning target. His expression relayed more pain than when he was riding on a bus along the bumpy Malibagh-Mouchak route.

By the afternoon the young man must be in a joyous mood similar to millions of cricket fans across the country — who kept in touch with the match the whole time whether they were on the road, in offices or any other place — following the Tigers’ historic four-wicket victory at P Sara Oval.

Tamim, Bangladesh’s batting mastaan (ESPN Cricinfo)
The ball pitched around off stump but Tamim Iqbal got into position quickly. By the time the ball had disappeared past the in-field, you forgot what the bowler was trying to do. The batsman, curiously under the radar for the last five months, looked like his switch was flicked on.

Out came the reverse sweep, the hits over mid-on, cover and midwicket. His six landed high into the second floor, thudding into the glass panes next to the press box. Bangladesh’s 191-run target in the fourth innings suddenly looked small. It was like how, exactly ten years ago, India’s 191, albeit in a 50-over game at the World Cup, felt when the rookie Tamim was lining up Zaheer Khan and Munaf Patel for sixes over long-on at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain.

Tamim has transformed since, but the essence of his batting is about being positive and playing with freedom. His tactic is a bit of mastaani (bullying) on the opposition bowling, quite unlike his off-field persona – Tamim is mild-mannered and has a ready wit.

BCCI likely to invoke MPA right if revenue model not reconsidered (Cricbuzz)
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), backed by the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA), shot an 11-page, 24-point letter to the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Sunday (March 19) clearly stating that India is not in agreement with
the changes proposed in the finance and governance models of the sport’s parent body.

‘Mumbai’s influence in BCCI will take a hit’ after losing Full Member status (Hindustan Times)
The one-state, one-vote policy, which will soon be implemented if the Supreme Court approves the new constitution prepared by the Committee of Administrators on Saturday, has evoked mixed reactions.

David Leggat: Black Caps players must deliver on selectors loyalty (NZ Herald)
New Zealand’s selectors have put a pile of faith in who they believe to be the country’s best cricketers for a match which will have a large say in how this season is remembered.

Batman begins: Meet Haseeb Hameed, English cricket’s rising star (The Guardian)
In a fledgling career as a cricketer, 20-year-old Hameed – “Has” to his friends – has earned a reputation for toughness. Last November against India, in his third Test match for England, a ball snapped a bone in his little finger. England were getting thumped and Hameed could, and probably should, have retreated to the sick bay. But he came out for the second innings and batted with bravery and no little skill to score 59 not out, with only two paracetamol tablets to numb the pain. A “very special knock” said his captain Alastair Cook. Virat Kohli, the supreme stylist in cricket right now, was impressed, too. “You can sense it, this guy is intelligent,” the India captain commented. “He’s a great prospect for England and he’s definitely going to be a star in all forms.”

1987 Bangalore Test – a win to savour (Dawn)
India, the then world champions, were virtually unbeatable at home. On the other hand, the mighty West Indies, under the captaincy of Sir Viv Richards had just left Pakistan after a closely fought series.

The concept of ‘neutral’ umpires was presented when two umpires, V.K. Ramaswamy and P.D. Reporter, officiated in two of the three Test matches.

India failed to compliment ‘neutrality’ when Pakistanis arrived for a five-match series. Four Tests ended in high scoring draws. Tauseef Ahmed and Javed Miandad, who missed out the fourth Test at Ahmedabad, were back for the final Test at Bangalore (now Bengaluru). Imran Khan elected to bat on a spinning track on 13th March 1987. Pakistan managed a paltry 116 in the first innings, bamboozled by spinner Maninder Singh who captured 7 wickets.