[close]

Pujara ton lifts India to 4-303 at stumps

India have reached 4-303 at stumps on day one of the fourth Test at the SCG, where Cheteshwar Pujara's unbeaten 130 frustrated Australia's attack.

Pujara ton lifts India to 4-303 at stumps

India have reached 4-303 at stumps on day one of the fourth Test at the SCG, where Cheteshwar Pujara's unbeaten 130 frustrated Australia's attack.

JOSH HAZLEWOOD of Australia bowls during the One Day International match between Australia and England at PS in Perth, Australia.
JOSH HAZLEWOOD of Australia bowls during the One Day International match between Australia and England at PS in Perth, Australia. Picture:Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images

Australia have vowed to follow Cheteshwar Pujara's template in Sydney, where the veteran's third century of the series lifted India to 4-303 at stumps on day one of the fourth Test.

Pujara finished 130 not out at stumps on Thursday, when his highest score of a career-best series significantly boosted India's bid for a maiden Test series win in Australia.


"We're only really two wickets away from being able to break it open," recalled batsman Marnus Labuschagne told reporters.

"He (Pujara) was very classy. His time, his patience, just the way he batted ... a lot of time.

"That's what we're going to need to do. All of our batters are going to have to step up and put a big score on the board."

Pujara, as he has been throughout the series, was an immovable object occupying the crease with minimal fuss and maximum effect for some 250 balls.

Josh Hazlewood temporarily unsettled Pujara late in the morning session with a bouncer that struck the back of the helmet, while Mitchell Starc left a bruise on his arm late in the final session.

Pujara quickly regained composure after both blows and has now spent almost 30 hours batting in this series, underlining how pivotal his patience has been in the tourists' retention of the Border-Gavaskar trophy.

Nathan Lyon summed up the mood of Tim Paine's team - and most of the 33,678-strong crowd - late in the day when he asked whether Pujara was "bored yet?".

India's most productive day with the bat this summer started when Virat Kohli called correctly at the toss.

Hazlewood struck with his third delivery of the innings when recalled opener KL Rahul was out edging but from that point on it was a day of toil for Australia's star-studded attack.

"He (Pujara) is a class payer. We just have to hold our patience longer than him and we haven't done that so far," Hazlewood said on Fox.

"We had some good spells and some poor ones."

Mayank Agarwal's brisk 77 set the tone for India, while Hanuma Vihari also kept the scoreboard ticking over with an unbeaten 39.

"We are really happy ... we're in a great position," Agarwal said.

"We would like to be three down but with that said, we're 4-300 after choosing to bat."

Paine has wasted one of his two reviews; referring a caught-behind shout off Pat Cummins' bowling when Pujara was on 12.

Pujara clattered three Labuschagne long hops to the rope in the penultimate over of the post-lunch session but otherwise largely lived up to his mantra that "batting is like meditation".

Pujara and Kohli's 54-run stand was ended by Hazlewood, who had Kohli caught behind down the leg side in the first over after tea.

Ajinkya Rahane's dismissal on 18, to a rearing delivery from Starc, then gave the hosts hope of exposing India's tail on day one but it proved forlorn.

AAP


AAP




Latest Stories