India batter Ajinkya Rahane provided a major update on his finger injury saying that the injury will not affect his batting in the second innings and pointed out that his side wanted to score 320-330 while batting first.
Rahane was hit on his right hand's index finger by an extra bounce delivery from Australia skipper Pat Cummins in the 22nd over of India's batting on Day 2 of the WTC Final.
Rahane overcame a difficult spell from Australian pacers on his way to a spectacular 89 off 129 balls on the third day, taking India to 296 all out from 152 for six in his first Test in 18 months.
Rahane silenced all the outside commotion by scoring 89 runs in 129 balls while hitting 11 fours and one six. Despite the odd bounce on the surface, Rahane appeared to be batting on a separate surface.
"Painful but quite manageable (blow to his finger). Don't think it'll affect batting. Happy with the way I batted. Had a good today. We were looking to get 320-330 but overall we had a good day. Bowling wise we bowled well. Everyone chipped in. That was a really good catch. We all know he's a really good fielder. Has a big reach," Ajinkya Rahane told the ICC.
Rahane was likewise pleased with his performance, although noted that Australia is "slightly ahead in the game."
"Australia is slightly ahead in the game. For us, it's important to be in the moment, play session by session. The first hour will be crucial tomorrow. We know funny things can happen. Jadeja bowled really well, footmarks helped him against the left-hander. Still feel wicket will help seam bowlers," he added.
The opening part of Day 3, saw Ajinkya Rahane (89) and Shardul Thakur (51) contribute impressively to help India reach 296 in their first innings.
Coming to the match, Star allrounder Ravindra Jadeja's remarkable spell enabled India raise visions of an unlikely win at the close of play on Day 3 of the ongoing World Test Championship (WTC) final against Australia at the Oval on Friday.
Australia closed the day at 123/4 in 44 overs, with Marnus Labuschagne and Cameron Green unbeaten at 41(118)* and 7(27)* respectively.
At the beginning of the day, Ajinkya Rahane and Shardul Thakur's partnership laid the groundwork for the Indians to fight back after having their backs against the wall for the better part of two days.
Speedster Umesh Yadav set the tone for the Indians quite early in the third session, as he dismissed Usman Khawaja cheaply (13 off 39 balls). The left-hander knicked a wide delivered wide outside off-stump and KS Bharat dived low to take a fine catch.
Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith once again settled Australian nerves, as they kept the scoreboard ticking over. But India managed to find a breakthrough after 16 overs, with the centurion from the first innings failing to make his mark this time. Brought into the attack, left-armer Jadeja sent back the former Australia skipper for the eighth time in his career.
Jadeja brought his experience to the fore yet again as he dismissed another centurion from the first innings, Travis Head. In the first ball of the 37th over, Head was dropped by Umesh Yadav on the boundary line and the ball went for a six. On the second ball of that over, Head regained his composure and defended it for a dot ball.
However, on the third ball, Jadeja dismissed Head after he lobbed a catch at him. This was the final Australian wicket to fall for the day as Cameron Green and Labuschagne survived the final ball. (ANI)