The Indian No.3 was watchful against his nemesis, Pat Cummins, in the first session but took on Nathan Lyon with his deft footwork. However, the most eye-catching phase of his innings came on either side of the new ball.
After lunch, Cheteshwar Pujara came with all guns blazing and took the attack on Cameron Green and Lyon. After the new ball was taken, Pujara hit Cummins for three consecutive boundaries, putting Australia's pace spearhead under the pump.
He looked on his way to a masterful hundred but Josh Hazlewood stymied the right-handed batsman's progress. In the 89th over of the Indian innings, Hazelwood bowled a length delivery on the off-stump channel. The ball held its line beautifully and kept a bit low as well to miss Pujara's bat and hit the stumps.
The Sydney pitch offered no vicious turn for Lyon or uneven bounce for the pacers. The only ball of the day which kept slightly low took Pujara's wicket.
Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant's partnership brought India back into the game
Cheteshwar Pujara looked in great form on Monday. The batsman came to the crease after Rohit Sharma's dismissal a day before and occupied one end like a rock. In the second innings, he looked more positive in his intent against the Aussie bowlers.
Cheteshwar Pujara joined hands with wicket-keeper-batsman Rishabh Pant after stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane got out in the second over of the day. The pair weaved a superb partnership of 148 runs. Pant played with fire and got rewarded for his flamboyant shots against Nathan Lyon.
However, he played one shot too many and in a hurry to score against Lyon before the new ball, fell just three runs short of his century. Nevertheless, the century stand brought India right back into the game. The onus is now on Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin to try and save the game for India.Published 11 Jan 2021, 10:28 IST