Chetesh­war Pu­jara spares In­dia blushes on day one of first Test against Aus­tralia

The Guardian Australia - - Headlines - Aus­tralian As­so­ci­ated Press

Aus­tralia si­lenced Vi­rat Kolhi and ev­ery mem­ber of In­dia’s star-stud­ded top or­der bar Chetesh­war Pu­jara, who fought back fas­tid­i­ously with an im­pres­sive cen­tury on day one of the first Test at Ade­laide Oval. Thurs­day’s play fin­ished with Pu­jara be­ing run out for 123 by a su­perb di­rect hit from Pat Cum­mins, who had one stump to aim at af­ter toil­ing for 19 overs as tem­per­a­tures hit 38C.

In­dia will re­sume at 250-9, hav­ing crashed to to 19-3 then 127-6 be­fore Pu­jara ral­lied with help from the tail. Tim Paine, who lost the toss, will lament the way his side failed to keep their foot on the tourists’ throat. But af­ter eight months of soul-search­ing and scathing crit­i­cism, there was lot for dis­il­lu­sioned fans and Paine to like as his side fi­nally started their first home Test since the Cape Town cheat­ing scan­dal and first match on free-toair

TV this sea­son.

Us­man Khawaja, sta­tioned at gully

and play­ing two days af­ter his brother was ar­rested, led the way as Aus­tralia dom­i­nated the open­ing hour. Khawaja helped re­move Kohli for three, fling­ing him­self to the left to com­plete a dra­matic dis­missal af­ter Josh Ha­zle­wood and Mitchell Starc both picked up a wicket in their open­ing spell.

Kohli, Ajinkya Ra­hane, KL Rahul and Mu­rali Vi­jay were all out edg­ing in the morn­ing ses­sion to Aus­tralia’s fast bowlers, who bent their backs in sap­ping heat to ex­tract rear­ing bounce and gen­er­ate good pace. “They are pretty poor shots, re­ally, from top-or­der in­ter­na­tional play­ers,” Ricky Ponting said in com­men­tary for the Seven Net­work.

Ro­hit Sharma’s post-lunch dis­missal to Nathan Lyon on 37 was the low point of In­dia’s ill-dis­ci­plined in­nings, while Lyon also ended an en­ter­tain­ing cameo from Rishabh Pant. Pu­jara halted the home side’s mo­men­tum with his first cen­tury in Aus­tralia, soak­ing up 246 balls.

Chetesh­war Pu­jara stead­ied the In­dian ship af­ter a shaky start to the Test se­ries at Ade­laide Oval.Pho­to­graph: Dave Hunt/EPA

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