Cheteshwar Pujara's application on an Adelaide wicket boosts India's performance

Cheteshwar Pujara's application on an Adelaide wicket boosts India's performance

Cheteshwar Pujara's application on an Adelaide wicket boosts India's performance

Pujara went into a familiar shell, playing out 29 dot balls on the trot before the 20th and 34th over while Rohit Sharma delighted with some pristine shots, a couple of them off Cummins - a pull and a lofted inside out drive - going all the way. There was one run out - that of the big wicket in Cheteshwar Pujara who was the standout performer with 123 runs.

India, the number one Test team in the world, will be begin the charge for winning their maiden Test series in Australia when the two teams face off in the first Test of the four-match series at the Adelaide Oval starting on Thursday.

If this innings is any indication of how India's top-order plans to play this series, the Border - Gavaskar Trophy isn't coming home.

Pujara said he would now turn to coaching India's bowlers on the best methods for extracting the most from the Adelaide pitch.

"Once we lost Ashwin, I thought I had to accelerate".

The first breakthrough came in the second over, when Josh Hazlewood had KL Rahul (2) caught in the slips by Aaron Finch, and opening partner Murali Vijay (11) joined him in the sheds when he feathered Mitchell Starc through to wicketkeeper Paine five overs later.

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The ball screamed toward the slips cordon, where a leaping Khawaja took a leaping one-hander that will take some beating for catch of the summer.

India suffered a huge blow ahead of the first Test with young opener Prithvi Shaw ruled out after suffering ankle ligament damage during their final warm-up game against a Cricket Australia XI.

After an hour, they were 25-3 with Cheteshwar Pujara not out seven and Ajinkya Rahane unbeaten on two.

Sharma then needlessly tried the same shot on the next ball, and this time debutant Marcus Harris comfortably collected the steepling catch, with the right-hander once more failing to capitalise on a good start.

It was left to Pujara, in his 65th Test, to dig in and stay at the crease as he ground his way towards a 50 to keep India's hopes alive.

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