Australia v India: Travis Head leads Australian charge with unbeaten half-century

Australia v India: Travis Head leads Australian charge with unbeaten half-century

Australia v India: Travis Head leads Australian charge with unbeaten half-century

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

Earlier, Ishant Sharma and Ashwin struck in the morning session to reduce the hosts to 57/2 at lunch after Australia took just one ball to wrap up the visitors' innings for the overnight score of 250. Head shared a valuable 50-run seventh-wicket partnership with Pat Cummins.

Australia lost Aaron Finch in the very first over of their innings.

Paine's dismissal reduced Australia to 127 for six, but Head found rare defiance in a batting partner from tailender Pat Cummins.

Ravichandran Ashwin (3-50), Ishant Sharma (2-31) and Jasprit Bumrah (2-34) helped reduce Australia to 191-7, still trailing by 59 runs, at stumps.

Temperatures are forecast to reach 39 Celsius (102 Fahrenheit) in Adelaide for the first day.

Nathan Lyon shapes as the key man for Australia.

He added that the wicket wasn't as easy to bat on and that he needed to take a lot of time to play his shots, which again reflected poorly on how the Indian top-order batted on Thursday.

"They're a good team and they've got a couple of great players and we will show them great respect", he said. "I feel the match is well poised and every run is going to be gold".

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It was only because of their bowlers India were able to compete in their last two tours of South Africa and England.

The hard-hitting Finch drove loosely at a full delivery and inside-edged onto his stumps, which went cartwheeling.

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Debutant opener Marcus Harris, one of three Ashwin victims, was quick to blame a "tough" drop-in wicket and worked hard to put a rosy spin on the batsmen's travails. With that, also came India's rush towards the second new cherry which yielded immediate dividends. Khawaja stayed there for 125 balls but could only manage 28 runs.

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.

With Cummins dismissing Kohli twice with the four deliveries he has bowled to the Indian star, there is real reason to believe that abysmal average could sink even lower before the end of this series. The Australian bowlers maintained tight lines and lengths as the Indian skipper could not get the boundary.

"I would say it is a decent total because there is enough turn".

When the game resumed on Day 2, tailender Mohammed Shami was out for six on the first delivery on Friday, caught behind by Tim Paine off Josh Hazlewood. He received treatment on his left shoulder just before lunch and briefly left the field. However, Cheteshwar Pujara showed nerves of steel, scored a superlative century and guided his team to safer shores at the close of play.

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