Sports Cricket 08 Dec 2018 Australia vs India, ...

Australia vs India, 1st Test Day 3: Pujara stands tall to put India in command

DECCAN CHRONICLE WITH AGENCY INPUTS
Published Dec 8, 2018, 9:53 am IST
Updated Dec 8, 2018, 5:31 pm IST
Score: India 151/3, lead Australia by 166 runs at stumps; Cheteshwar Pujara 40*; Ajinkya Rahane 1*.
India built a 166-run lead over Australia on the third day of an absorbing opening Test in Adelaide on Saturday with dangerman Cheteshwar Pujara not out 40, although the late wicket of master batsman Virat Kohli gave the home team a glimmer of hope. (Photo: AFP)
 India built a 166-run lead over Australia on the third day of an absorbing opening Test in Adelaide on Saturday with dangerman Cheteshwar Pujara not out 40, although the late wicket of master batsman Virat Kohli gave the home team a glimmer of hope. (Photo: AFP)

Adelaide: India built a 166-run lead over Australia on the third day of an absorbing opening Test in Adelaide on Saturday with dangerman Cheteshwar Pujara not out 40, although the late wicket of master batsman Virat Kohli gave the home team a glimmer of hope.

At stumps, the visitors were 151-3, adding to their first innings total of 250. Ajinkya Rahane was not out one, alongside Pujara who scored a gritty first innings century.

 

It was looking ominous for Australia with Kohli and Pujara compiling a 71-run third-wicket partnership, but spinner Nathan Lyon got a massive breakthrough when he snared the Indian skipper for 34 near the close of play.

Australia were dismissed for 235 just before lunch, with Travis Head top scoring on 72 on a day hit by rain delays, leaving them 15 runs adrift.

India got off to a solid start, with KL Rahul and Murali Vijay enjoying a 63-run partnership. Both failed to fire in the first innings and are battling for one opener's spot once the injured Prithvi Shaw is fit again.

 

On a difficult batting track, Josh Hazlewood bowled four straight maidens to keep them contained before they began finding their range.

Rahul hit a big six off Pat Cummins as the pair grew in confidence and they were racing along before Mitchell Starc got enticed Vijay into nicking an attempted drive to Peter Handscomb in the slips and he was out for 18.

Rahul played some audacious strokes, including a reverse sweep, before a loose shot to a Josh Hazlewood ball found a big edge and he was caught behind for 44 by Tim Paine.

The unflappable Pujara crucially survived two decisions by the umpire giving him out, with both reversed on review in a cruel blow to Australia.

 

In the first, he was initially dismissed caught behind off Lyon on eight, and in the second was adjudged out lbw, also to Lyon, on 17.

Master-blaster Kohli, who emerged to boos from a section of the crowd, shunned his trademark flamboyance to grind out runs before jabbing at a short ball from Lyon and Aaron Finch took an easy catch.

On the way, he reached another milestone, joining a select few Indians -- including Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid -- to score 1,000 Test runs in Australia.

India 147/3 from 57.1 overs:

WICKET! Glove and pad and taken at forward short-leg. Nathan Lyon gets a big wicket of Virat Kohli. Aaron Finch makes no mistake to hold onto an easy catch. India lead by 162 runs but that Kohli wicket has kept Australian hopes alive. Surely.

 

India 80/2 from 24.2 overs:

WICKET! Waste of a wicket! KL Rahul gets out, playing a loose shot off Hazlewood. He tries to loft one over mid-off but edges it and Paine does no mistake behind the wickets. India 2 down.

India 63/1 from 18.2 overs:

WICKET! Edge and taken in the slips! Mitchell Starc has given Australia their first breakthrough as Murali Vijay departs. Peter Handscomb takes a neat catch in the slips.

Preview:

After securing the 15-run lead in the first innings, the onus will be on Indian batsmen to come good as the visitors will look to strengthen their position in what has been a keenly-fought first Test against Australia.

 

Travis Head matched his highest Test score but missed out on a century as Australia moved to within 15 runs of India after the first innings, leaving the opening Test in Adelaide on a knife-edge Saturday.

Batting on his home ground, Head made 72 before nicking a Mohammed Shami delivery to wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant after adding 11 to his overnight 61.

It signalled a quick end to the Australian innings, with the last wicket rapidly following and lunch called as rain came down before India's batsmen could get to the crease.

Australia made 235, in reply to India's 250. They started the day at 191-7.

 

After two days of stifling hot conditions, a change rolled in Saturday and play began 45 minutes late in gloomy conditions, with the ground's lights on.

It only lasted 3.4 overs before the drizzle began again and the umpires called the players off after Mitchell Starc was caught behind by Pant, getting a thin edge to a Jasprit Bumrah delivery.

He added seven runs to his overnight eight.

Play resumed after an hour with Nathan Lyon accompanying Head, who looked on track to better his previous best Test score against Pakistan in October.

 

But he was enticed into prodding at a Shami ball and was out to deny him the chance of a maiden ton in his third Test.

Josh Hazlewood came to the crease but was gone first ball, again to the Shami-Pant combination, leaving Nathan Lyon unbeaten after a quick-fire 24, including a six.

For India, Ravichandran Ashwin finished with 3-57 and Jasprit Bumrah had 3-47.

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