Having made his second half-century of the match, KL Rahul was dismissed trying to drive Steve O'Keefe away from his body. It wasn't the first time he had been out playing an aggressive shot in recent months. He drove away from his body and dragged the ball onto his stumps in the first innings of the Hyderabad Test against Bangladesh, and was caught at long-off after scoring a half-century in the first Test against Australia in Pune. He was out looking to hit over the top in the first innings at the Chinnaswamy Stadium as well, though on that occasion he was running out of partners and looking for quick runs.
Sanjay Bangar, India's batting coach, has said he has had a "chat" with Rahul over the nature of his dismissals.
"Generally within the batting group, over the last 18 to 20 months we have been so used to batting with five batsmen wherein all the batsmen have made that conscious effort to look beyond their personal landmarks. It's not being happy with a 50 or 100 but batsmen who are wanting to go that extra mile, put in the hard work and play a big innings, which will have an eventual impact on the state of the match," Bangar said at the end of day three.
"That is something all the boys have been doing. Rahul was very disappointed and we definitely had a chat. It's something that we want him to improve in the games to come because he is a quality player. The way he was stroking the ball, really looked comfortable, was smothering the spin really well and I think he understands that probably in the series and matches to come, he will definitely put a price on his wicket and see less of those unforced errors."
Rahul was one of two half-centurions in India's second innings, the other being Cheteshwar Pujara, and a third batsman, Ajinkya Rahane, was batting on 40 at stumps. It was a crucial innings in the context of the match, but also personally for Rahane, who had passed 50 only once in his ten previous Test innings. Bangar, though, said Rahane's form had not been a concern to the team management.
"I am surprised we talk about him [Rahane] being under pressure," Bangar said. "He has been the most impressive and utility player overseas, the kind of performances he has given in the last two to three years are worthy of applause. Outside India he averages more than 50 and here, when one says that he is not able to play that well, when we see the stats on the TV, his average in India is above 40 too.
"For a middle-order batsman it's good. Whenever he has gotten an opportunity [he has done well]. He was injured in the middle too. Before that he had scored 188 against New Zealand. On a difficult wicket against New Zealand in Kolkata he scored 77. Against Bangladesh he scored 82. He is a quality player. Today he applied himself well. [He] was part of a very crucial partnership today. We are just hoping that tomorrow he continues the same way."
When asked about Ravindra Jadeja's promotion to No. 5, Bangar said the move had been made with his left-handedness in mind.
"We wanted to have the right-left combination going. Jadeja has ability with the bat. We wanted to make sure that we get [Nathan] Lyon slightly away from his line of attack. Because whenever a left-hander comes, Lyon generally comes around the wicket and he favours more to bowl outside the rough to the right-hander. So just to upset his rhythm. If an opportunity arises he could have gone after the left-arm spinner [O'Keefe]. That was the plan, a well thought-out plan. It didn't work that way."
Bangar felt the Test match, with India ending day three with six wickets in hand and a lead of 126, was in the balance, and that they needed two more good sessions to get themselves in front.
"I think it will be a tough surface for both the teams and the cracks are going to get wider," he said. "How they adapt to the surface and conditions is important. At the moment, the match is very much in the balance. I think if we put up a good show in the next two sessions then we will slightly have our nose ahead."