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giftedviz.com December 14, 2018


India centurion's surprising new role on Day 2

07 December 2018, 06:56 | Pamela Mathis

Cheteshwar Pujara overturned dismissals against Nathan Lyon on eight and 17 in Adelaide

Cheteshwar Pujara overturned dismissals against Nathan Lyon on eight and 17 in Adelaide

The only Indian to bat with any surety and patience on the grassy surface, Pujara's 16th Test century reinforced his status as one of the world's most understated batsmen and a solid presence in a frenetic top order.

The 26-year-old was impressive on his Test debut in Adelaide, occupying the crease for almost two hours as he blunted the Indian new ball bowlers, all under the watchful eye of his loved ones.

It was his third ton against Australia but first in Australia, and the innings only ended on 123 thanks to a sensational diving run out from Pat Cummins, which brought an end to the day's play.

India captain Virat Kohli opted to bat first but their top order crumbled against Australia's attack, with numerous batsman guilty of poor shot selection.

Batting after Kohli won the toss on a day when temperatures topped 36 Celsius (96.8 Fahrenheit), the visitors crumbled under an opening pace barrage. The offspinner took the only two wickets in the middle session but could not take wickets after tea.

Australian bowling coach David Saker said it was a premeditated plan for the quicks to pitch it up and lure India's batsmen into false shots.

"I don't think we've seen a quarter of what that boy can do".

Lyon hooked Mohammed Shami for six before Australia were dismissed for 235
Lyon hooked Mohammed Shami for six before Australia were dismissed for 235

But they spectacularly rose to the challenge.

Veteran Murali Vijay, in the side after young gun Prithvi Shaw suffered ankle ligament damage in a warm-up game, didn't last much longer, caught behind by skipper Tim Paine off Starc for 11.

Australia took just a single ball to wrap up the Indian innings this morning, with Mohammed Shami caught down the legside off Josh Hazlewood, to end India's innings at the overnight score of 250.

Rahane, who was dropped by debutant Marcus Harris at short-leg off Lyon, chased a wide delivery from Hazlewood into Peter Handscomb's hands at second slip.

Spinner Nathan Lyon struck twice to expose India's tail after lunch, having the recalled Rohit Sharma slog-sweep to a fielder for 37 before Pant fell for 25 feathering an edge behind.

It was left to Pujara, in his 65th Test, to dig in and stay at the crease as he ground his way towards a 50 to keep India's hopes alive.

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