It's one of my top-5 Test knocks: Pujara on hundred

Ruben Holloway
December 7, 2018

Pujara fought his way to a gritty century even as Team India's familiar batting woes on foreign soil left them struggling at 250/9 at stumps on the opening day of the first Test.

Australian bowling coach David Saker confirmed it had been a premeditated plan for the quicks to pitch it up and lure India's batsmen into false shots. Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah resume the action for India on day two.

Australia's effort was held together by Travis Head who showed outstanding application and finished the day unbeaten on 61, while Mitchell Starc also remained unbeaten on eight.

Throw in Australia being without Smith and Warner, and it points to India starting as overwhelming favourites. Things could have been worse for the touring party if not for Cheteshwar Pujara's doughty century. Prithvi Shaw's injury meant India had to look back to Vijay but the 34-year-old too failed to cash in. He was dismissed by Josh Hazlewood in the second over of the match; Aaron Finch took his catch in the slip cordon. "We are looking forward to the day-night Test coming back to Adelaide", he told SEN Radio.

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Handscomb struck five boundaries, while Head hit a four as well, as the duo put on 30 runs for the fifth wicket, taking Australia past 100 in the 48th over.

"They did go quite hard (at the ball) but we bowled exceptionally well for the first four hours, especially when the ball got soft and stopped moving around, the scoreboard never got away from us", Starc said about keeping the run-rate under control". Cummins drives the 5 ball past cover for 2 runs. On a couple occasions, he drove the ball to get the score moving but ultimately this led to his dismissal. But Pujara stood tall amid the ruins to take India to 250/9 at stumps.

Murali Vijay, whose test average in Australia is 60.25, and Ajinkya Rahane, averaging 57 here, are also expected to be big threats to the home side.

In 38th over, Sharma hoisted the ball towards square leg reason where Marcus Harris tried his best to catch the ball right at the ropes.

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There were 55,000 for day one of the Ashes opener in Adelaide last year, 32,255 on the corresponding day against South Africa a year earlier and 47,441 for the first year against New Zealand, the CA stated.

"So I don't think spin bowling is a big threat, but it seems to me that Australia are anxious about the spinning options of India, deciding to go with Handscomb who's such a good player of spin". The two added 62 runs for the seventh wicket before Ashwin got a peach of a delivery from Cummins that he nicked to Peter Handscomb at second slip.

Pujara was run-out off the last ball of the day, a sensational piece of fielding from Pat Cummings bringing an end to his brilliant innings.

The big moment came in the 40th over, when Ashwin got Khawaja's wicket.

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