Pujara keeps India in fight | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 07, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:06 AM, December 07, 2018

Pujara keeps India in fight

Cheteshwar Pujara scored a gritty 123 in punishing conditions to claw India back into the opening Test in Adelaide Thursday after Australia seized early control with some blistering bowling.

Nathan Lyon, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc all grabbed two wickets as temperatures topped 36 Celsius (96.8 Fahrenheit) and the tourists wilted to 250-9 at stumps on day one.

The experienced Pujara faced 246 balls in his gutsy knock -- passing 5,000 Test runs for his 16th Test century -- as the wickets tumbled around him, including superstar captain Virat Kohli for three.

At the end of a day characterised by poor shot selection, Pujara went for a quick single on the second last ball and was removed in a brilliant run-out by a diving Cummins.

"It was one of my top innings in Test cricket, I could say top five," said Pujara, adding that he was disappointed other batsmen didn't do as well.

"To be honest we should have batted better but they also bowled well in the first two sessions and I knew that I had to stay patient and wait for the loose balls."

Batting after Kohli won the toss, the visitors crumbled in a disastrous morning session under a pace barrage before digging in later in the day, with Pujara and Ravi Ashwin (25 off 76 balls) staging a fightback as the bowlers tired.

SCORES IN BRIEF

INDIA: First innings 250 for 9 (Pujara 123, Sharma 37, Pant 25, Ashwin 25; Starc 2-63, Hazlewood 2-52, Cummins 2-49, Lyon 2-83)

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