Pujara grabs century as India put heat on Australia

Pujara grabs century as India put heat on Australia

Pujara grabs century as India put heat on Australia

Debutant Mayank Agarwal provided the base with a confident half-century before Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara steered India to a solid 215 for two on day one of the third Test against Australia, here Wednesday.

At lunch on day two, they were 277 for two with Pujara not out 103 and Kohli on 69, leaving Australia facing mounting problems on a lifeless pitch offering little for the bowlers. Late in the Indian innings, Australian paceman Mitchell Starc is unimpressed with Rishabh Pant's running between the wickets.

It was only the second instance in 11 overseas Tests this year that Virat Kohli was yet to arrive at the crease with 100-plus runs on the scoreboard.

Kohli and Pujara departed, for 76 and 106 respectively, in Thursday's post-lunch session.

With the four-match series poised at 1-1, India's disciplined performance left them well-placed to build a big total and tire the Australian bowlers in the baking heat forecast for day two.

He edged a Mitchell Starc delivery to bring up the 100 stand and rarely looked troubled as he moved towards a 17th Test century and second of the series, bringing up three figures with a lovely drive off Nathan Lyon for four.

Pujara will resume on 68, eyeing his second ton of the series.

Cummins was the pick of Australia's bowlers.

Four overs later, in the 126th, Pujara got a delivery from Cummins that kept a tad low and knocked back his stumps as India were suddenly reduced to 299-4.

But Agarwal was unflappable and glided to his maiden Test 50 off 95 balls by effortlessly drilling a Lyon delivery past the non-striker for four. The pacer picked himself up though and three balls later he had Agarwal as Australia got a boost going into tea.

Skipper Kohli, who had some testy exchanges in Perth with Australian counterpart Tim Paine, insisted the defeat there was in the past and his team was starting with a new slate in Melbourne. After putting up a 40-run opening stand with Mayank, Vihari got out to Pat Cummins scoring just eight runs from 66 balls.

All-rounder Mitchell Marsh was then brought into the attack only to be met with boos from a section of the crowd, having been recalled in place of Melbourne local Peter Handscomb.

Unbeaten batsmen Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma have already added 47 runs for the fifth wicket.

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