India vs Australia: Pujara century puts India in control of Sydney Test

Ross Houston
January 3, 2019

Pujara (1,000* balls in 166.4 overs this series) became just the fifth Indian Test batsman, after Dravid ( 1203 balls - 2003/04), Vijay Hazare (1,192 balls - 1947-48), Kohli (1,093 balls - 2014-15) and Sunil Gavaskar (1,032 balls - 1977-78), to have faced 1,000 or more balls in a Test series in Australia.

Sony Pictures Networks happens to be the official broadcaster of India vs Australia Test Series 2018-19 in India.

The final session of Day one of the fourth Test is underway at the Sydney Cricket Ground and Pujara is well settled at the crease and has Ajinkya Rahane on the other end.

Pujara put India in the box seat with his patient 130-run not-out knock, with India 4-303 at stumps on day one.

Mayank Agarwal came in for the last test and was superb opening the innings so he will continue but he could be partnered by KL Rahul who may return to the line-up with Hanuma Vihari dropping back down to number six and Rohit Sharma potentially making way.

Josh Hazlewood was the pick of the Australian attack with 2-51, but the rest of the bowling unit laboured on a hot day in Sydney.

Agarwal's mettle and courage were tested in the second hour on Thursday, as the Australian pace trio subjected him to an old fashioned bumper barrage. However, the Virat Kohli-led India took the lead once again and registered a comprehensive win at Melbourne to take an unassailable 2-1 lead.

"We saw in the UAE his leg spin's improved out of sight, and you're nearly leaning towards him at Test level now as a bit of an all-round option, which is a really good package for us". I think it´s something I personally can take a lot from.

In another innings of patience and concentration, he slowly picked off runs to bring up his 18th Test century from 199 balls, with 13 boundaries.

Agarwal continued his impressive introduction to test cricket with another half century.

It was Pujara's third century of this series after he scored 123 in the first test at Adelaide, followed by 106 last week in Melbourne.

Virat Kohli has departed the SCG shortly after the Tea break after Josh Hazlewood was able to remove the Indian captain for 23, caught behind down the leg side.

India have never lost a Test when Kohli has won the toss - winning 18 and drawing three - and he had no hesitation in opting to bat in Sydney.

When Australia bat, they will have a new-look opening pair with Usman Khawaja padding up with Marcus Harris after the underperforming Aaron Finch was axed.

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