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Australia vs India 2018-19, 1st Test: Pujara's masterful knock keeps India in the hunt

Pavan Suresh
270   //    06 Dec 2018, 17:21 IST

Cheteshwar Pujara batted brilliantly and anchored India's innings
Cheteshwar Pujara batted brilliantly and anchored India's innings

The first day of the first Test match played at Adelaide Oval between India and Australia ended on a tantalising note as Cheteshwar Pujara's masterful 123 lifted the visitors to 250 for 9.

Indian captain Virat Kohli won the toss and decided to bat first. It was a disappointing start for the visitors as KL Rahul and Murali Vijay played poor strokes. Then Kohli was brilliantly caught by Usman Khawaja to reduce India at 19 for 3. Before the lunch break, Rahane chased a wide delivery and edged it to the slip cordon. Pujara looked solid even as India went into lunch at 56 for 4.

Making a comeback into the Test lineup, Rohit Sharma played some exciting shots to put pressure on the Australian bowlers. Alongside Pujara, he added 45 runs for the fifth wicket before throwing his wicket away by trying an ungainly slog.

Rishabh Pant also played some aggressive shots in order to release the pressure. While Pujara played each ball according to its merit, the young left-hander was undone by a beautiful delivery from Nathan Lyon for 25. India went into tea at 143 for 6.

In the final session of the day, Pujara reached his half-century off 153 balls. In the company of Ravichandran Ashwin, he steadied the innings with a 62-run stand for the 7th wicket.

After Ashwin was dismissed for 25, Pujara then took charge by playing aggressive shots and reverted pressure back on the Australian bowlers.

Pujara reached his century off 231 balls. It was an amazing knock under immense pressure against a strong bowling attack. With Mohammed Shami for company, he added 40 quick runs for the 9th wicket.

At the end of the day's play, Pujara was run out after scoring a brilliant 123 off 246 balls. He registered seven boundaries and two sixes in his masterful effort. India ended the first day of the Test series at 250 for 9. For Australia, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon took two wickets each.