India dominated the first day’s play as the visitors posted 303 for the loss of four wickets. Cheteshwar Pujara led the charge with his 18th Test hundred to be the day’s hero for the visitors. Pujara batted like Pujara as Australian bowlers once again could not crack the code to breach his solid defence.
The talisman batsman found the gaps with perfection as he batted with resistance. This was Pujara’s third hundred of the ongoing series as he has been a massive difference between the two sides. Pujara has thus far scored 458 runs in seven innings at a staggering average of 76.88.
Meanwhile, India got off to a bad start when KL Rahul continued with his poor performance. Josh Hazlewood took just three balls to pack-up, Rahul. However, Rahul’s best friend Mayank Agarwal continued from where he left in the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Agarwal played some delightful shots in his knock of 77 runs. The right-hander was confident in his approach and was able to hit the straps.
Agarwal once again took the attack against Nathan Lyon and hit him for two sixes. However, Agarwal was beautifully disguised by Nathan Lyon, who had the last laugh in the battle. Lyon invited another big shot from the right-hander and the rookie batsman felt for the bait.
Thus, Agarwal had to once again miss out on his hundred and it was a fine chance for him to go all the way. On the other hand, Cheteshwar Pujara once again brought his piece de resistance.
Pujara added 116 runs with Mayank Agarwal, 54 with Virat Kohli, 48 with Ajinkya Rahane to get India into the driver’s seat. Hanuma Vihari looked good for his unbeaten 39 runs and added 75 runs with Pujara.
On the other hand, Australia’s vice-captain Josh Hazlewood was the pick of the Australian bowlers. Josh scalped two wickets whereas Mitchell Starc bowled his heart out. The Australian batsman tested the Indian batters with quality short stuff but didn’t have the rub of the green on their side.
Brief Scores: India: 303-4, Cheteshwar Pujara: 130* (250), Josh Hazlewood: 2-51.