Wednesday 21st April 2021

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  • Australia v India: Cheteshwar Pujara leads India fight back at Adelaide Oval


    Australia-v-India-Cheteshwar-Pujara-leads-India-fight-back-a- Adelaide-Oval

    First Test, Adelaide Oval (day one):
    India: 250-9: Pujara 123, Cummins 2-49, Hazlewood 2-52, Lyon 2-83, Starc 2-63
    Australia: Yet to bat


    Cheteshwar Pujara scored a century to lead India’s recovery to 250-9 on day one of the first Test in Australia.

    The Aussies are playing their first home Test series since March’s ball-tampering scandal and started strongly.

    India skipper Virat Kohli was caught by a diving Usman Khawaja at gully for three as the tourists slumped to 41-4.

    However, Pujara batted for six hours to score 123 before being run out by Pat Cummins’ direct hit to end the day’s play in Adelaide.

    Australia captain Tim Paine had spoken about rebuilding his side’s relationship with its fans prior to the match after former skipper Steve Smith was banned along with David Warner and Cameron Bancroft for the ball-tampering incidents in the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town.

    India won the toss and chose to bat but the decision quickly backfired. KL Rahul edged Josh Hazlewood to Aaron Finch at slip and fellow opener Murali Vijay was caught by wicketkeeper Paine off the bowling of Mitchell Starc to leave the tourists 15-2.

    The prized wicket of Kohli followed when he was tempted by a delivery outside his off stump and was brilliantly caught by Khawaja, diving full-length to his left, off Cummins.

    Pujara did not receive much support from Ajinkya Rahane (13), although Rohit Sharma (37), Rishabh Pant (25) and Ravichandran Ashwin (25) stuck around longer to provide some resistance.

    The hosts did not review a not out decision when Pujara appeared to get a nick when on 89 and the batsman went on to reach his 16th century, and first in Australia.

    However, he was superbly run out by Cummins’ direct hit with only one stump to aim at when attempting a quick single off the penultimate ball of the 89th over in an effort to keep strike.


    Sam Sheringham, BBC Stumped producer at the Adelaide Oval

    Australia could not have scripted a better start to their home Test summer as they looked to break free from the shackles of sandpapergate.

    Four Indian batsmen succumbed to the new ball, including both openers and the talismanic Virat Kohli.

    Captain Kohli was one of several India batsmen guilty of going too hard at the ball – and had it not been for the patience and skill of Cheteshwar Pujara, India could have been all out inside two sessions.

    As the mercury hit 40C on a sun-drenched afternoon, Australia’s bowlers inevitably tired, and Pujara took full advantage, accelerating past his hundred before succumbing to a brilliant run out by Pat Cummins.

    The hosts have the edge but Adelaide’s drop-in wicket does not yield the high scores the ground used to be famous for, and India will have their chance to test out Australia’s inexperienced batting line-up on Friday.

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