Published: Fri, December 07, 2018
Sport | By Tony Jimenez

Pujara rates century as one of best ever

Pujara rates century as one of best ever

Australia skipper Tim Paine says he is sick of all the ball-tampering talk and it is time to move on and focus on halting powerhouse India from winning their first Test series Down Under.

Adelaide:Cheteshwar Pujara struck a defiant century in an Adelaide Oval furnace to rescue India after Australia's pacemen threatened to dominate day one of the series-opening test on Thursday.

KL Rahul's (2) poor run in global cricket continued as he edged an away-swinger from Josh Hazlewood to Aaron Finch at second slip.

Australia's Shaun Marsh is bowled by India's Ravi Ashwin after dragging a delivery onto his own stumps. "We are looking forward to the day-night Test coming back to Adelaide", he told SEN Radio.

The visitors have only themselves to blame for their troubles as most of their top order batsmen virtually threw away their wickets by going after deliveries which they should have left alone. Vijay went for a drive in one of those deliveries, didn't get behind the line of the ball and all he managed was a tickle to the wicket-keeper.

The home side looked primed for a collapse but Pat Cummins and Head stood firm for Australia's first 50-run partnership.

Indian captain Virat Kohli has great respect for Lyon but it will be interesting to see whether he tried to hammer him out of the attack to put extra pressure on the seamers.

The innings of just 2 continued Marsh's abysmal recent record in Tests - he has now been dismissed in single figures six innings in a row. He targeted Nathan Lyon by hoicking the offspinner over deep backward square leg but he could not control his shot and he was rescued when Marcus Harris went over the ropes in trying to catch him.

Seamer Josh Hazlewood grabbed two wickets in the morning session, removing Ajinkya Rahane (13) and the out-of-form Lokesh Rahul (two). This was after a horrendous shot selection by Rohit Sharma (37) left India in the lurch at 86 for five in the 38th over. In the process, Pujara brought up his half-century and kept pushing India towards a respectable first-innings score.

Usman Khawaja (28) and Handscomb then added 28 runs for the fourth wicket.

The big moment came in the 40th over, when Ashwin got Khawaja's wicket. The 30-year-old kept most of the strike but there was still no recklessness from the Saurashtra batsman.

India will be hoping that Shami and Bumrah score some 20 more runs.

The India number three battled a hamstring strain late in the day but was a rock even as his partners crumbled around him, pushing India to 250 for nine at the close with a brutal assault on the second new ball.

"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".

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