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Australia vs India: Ist Test, Day 1: Pujara hundred rescues India

A hundred by Cheteshwar Pujara helped India reach 250 for 9

Adelaide, December 6: Cheteshwar Pujara was India's rock amidst the rumblings. Pujara built a magnificent 123, his 16th Test hundred and 3rd against Australia, at the Adeliade Oval on Thursday (December 6) to bail India out of a deep manhole.

Cheteshwar Pujaras innings lowdown (Courtesy: CricVizz)

At one stage India were 41 for 4 and in danger of getting bundled out for a well below par total. But Pujara's grit ensured that India ended the opening day of the first Test at a respectable 250 for nine, something their bowlers can look to have bowl at on Friday (December 7). Here's a breakdown of first day's proceedings.

1. Pujara's hundred

1. Pujara's hundred

For a man who batted with almost yogic temperament, Pujara's 100 came in a rush. He pulled Josh Hazlewood for a six and four off successive deliveries to jump from 89 to 99 and his sudden eagerness might also partly because India had lost seven wickets by then. At a time, many of his team-mates perished to brazen shots, Pujara waited for the ball, left the balls that were remotely dangerous and then began to pile runs once the red kookkabura became old and bowlers' intensity dropped by a notch on a day when the temperature touched 40 degree mark. Pujara reached his 100 with a clip off Mitchell Starc and it required a sensational piece of fielding by Pat Cummins in the last over of the day.

2. Rash shots by Indian top order

2. Rash shots by Indian top order

KL Rahul: The opener played a drive away from the body and gifted his wicket to Hazlewood.

M Vijay: The right-hander stabbed at a full delivery from Starc and the thick edge nestled in the big gloves of Time Paine.

Virat Kohli: The India skipper too reached out for the ball and played the shot a tad early but the catch of Usman Khawaja at gully was simply mind blowing.

Ajinkya Rahane: The Indian vice-captain looked good while he lasted but a loose drive away from body off Hazlewood ended his stay. It was almost a carbon copy of the dismissal of Rahul.

Rohit Sharma: He had a splendid opportunity to make a roaring comeback to Test cricket and for a while he looked poised to do so. But a mad gush blood ended his tenure. Rohit had narrowly escaped a dismissal when Marcus Harris failed to keep the ball inside the ropes but the Mumbaikar obliged in the very next ball with a reckless slog sweep off Nathan Lyon and Harris this time did not miss the chance. What made all those dismissals even more painful was the fact that several of those shots were easily avoidable if the batsmen used a bit more discretion.

3. Australian bowling

3. Australian bowling

The four Aussie bowlers - Pat Cummins, Starc, Hazlewood and Lyon should be patted for maintaining the pressure throughout the day. Even when the temperature soared high, they kept the ball on right areas and Indians struggled for runs often. They did not do anything fancy but kept the operations simple - several deliveries were pitched short before slipping in those fuller ones and the batsmen on this day found it hard to resist the temptation to drive. It was an old trick but immensely efficient on this day.

4. Australian fielding

4. Australian fielding

In England, Indian batsmen received several reprieves but the Australians never dropped any catches that came their way and even created a brilliant one - Khwaja to dismiss Kohli. All day, they ran across the field and ensured that India did not get any free runs. Cummins, who bowled 19 overs this day, did not show any sign of fatigue when he ran in, picked up the ball and disrupted the stumps with a dive and throw to catch Pujara well short of the crease. It was a reflection of Australia's effort.

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    Story first published: Thursday, December 6, 2018, 15:13 [IST]
    Other articles published on Dec 6, 2018
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