India vs Australia 1st Test: Pujara fights a lone battle as Aussie bowlers dominate on Day 1

India avoid a disaster banking on Pujara's ton as they grab a respectable total on Day 1 of the Oval test.

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The first test match between India and Australia started earlier today at the Adelaide Oval. Indian skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and decided to have a bat first. Australia handed opener, Marcus Harris, his test debut while the Indian side preferred Rohit Sharma to Hanuma Vihari.

Australia were quick to inflict the damage on the Indian batsmen as Josh Hazlewood dismissed KL Rahul in the second over of the innings. Murali Vijay, making a comeback to the test side, found it difficult to tackle Mitchell Starc and Hazlewood at the start of the batting innings. His torrid stay at the crease came to an end when Starc found an edge which was easily taken by Tim Paine. And India were thrown deep into trouble when an outstanding piece of a catch from Usman Khawaja sent Virat Kohli back to the pavilion as India were reduced to 19-3.

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Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane soon found themselves in a difficult situation as they looked to battle against the Australian seamers. But a rash stroke from the latter brought the end of a 22-run stand. Rohit Sharma was playing his first test match in almost 11 months. He looked to take on the charge against the bowlers. Few lovely strokes from Rohit got his innings underway. He hit 3 sixes and 2 fours in his 37 run innings. However, he lost his wicket trying to slog Nathan Lyon over the deep square leg boundary. The visitors found half of their side back in the hunt for just 86 runs in the 38th over.

Rishabh Pant was the next batsman for India and just like Rohit Sharma he too had a brisk start to his innings. Pujara, on the other hand, played with the utmost concentration as he neared to his half-century. Nathan Lyon picked up his second wicket of the innings in the form of Pant who was caught by Paine behind the stumps. Ravichandran Ashwin played sensibly as he looked to rotate the strike and support Pujara at the other hand. The duo tried to steady the sinking ship. They added 62 runs for the seventh wicket before Ashwin was picked up by Pat Cummins for 25 runs. Ishant Sharma’s short stay at the crease came to an end when he was cleaned up by Starc.

Pujara decided to take the matter to his own hands, looking to keep the strike from both the ends. He reached to his 16th test century in the due process. He looked to score quickly after completing his hundred. A sublime piece of fielding from Pat Cummins brought the end of Pujara as he was run out for 123. His wicket brought the day’s play to a close with India lingering at 250-9.

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Virat Kohli must be a disappointed man with the performance of his men in the first day of the match. Erstwhile Tim Paine would be hoping that his bowlers make short work of the last Indian wicket as they look for a big first innings lead.

Day 1 Summary

India: 250-9(87.5 o.)

Cheteshwar Pujara: 123
Rohit Sharma: 37

Pat Cummins: 19-3-49-2

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