Pujara keeps India afloat on day of brilliant Aussie fielding

Ajinkya Rahane was keen to throw the pressure of expectation back on the hosts

Ajinkya Rahane was keen to throw the pressure of expectation back on the hosts

"I can't rate if it was one of the best but the teammates were appreciating, they were saying it was one of the best", he said at the end of day's play here with India at 250/9 thanks largely to his effort.

The ball clattered the stumps, leaving Pujara run out for 123 and India nine wickets down at stumps.

Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara looked like nothing would get through him all day as he made his way to a terrific century.

Pujara, who arrived at the crease after just two overs, waged a heroic battle against Australia's three-pronged pace attack, comprising Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins, who had accounted for four of India's top five inside 21 overs, including skipper Virat Kohli, who won the toss and elected to bat first.

Two extraordinary individual feats in the field bookended an absorbing start to the Test series which had Australia on top early yesterday before India fought back to square the ledger.

Australia's quicks dominated with the new ball to have India reeling in the first hour with the loss of four wickets.

"I don't think we've seen a quarter of what that boy can do".

Cummins, who had scalped Kohli in the Ranchi Test previous year with the first ball he had ever bowled to the Indian captain, has now dismissed him twice in four balls! It was a very poor show from India with the bat - all except for Pujara, Rohit Sharma and Ravi Ashwin.

It was stunning one-handed take by Khawaja, whose preparations were upset by the shock arrest of his brother this week for allegedly framing a love-rival with a fake terror plot.

Vice captain Ajinkya Rahane and Pujara worked to steady the ship. Sharma, who was selected at No. 6 ahead of allrounder Hanuma Vihari, fell for 37 off 61 balls. Nevertheless, he played one shot too many and was dismissed by off-spinner Nathan Lyon, caught by Marcus Harris at the deep square leg region.

Without the Indian talisman, Pujara anchored vital partnerships with young wicket keeper Rishabh Pant and Ravichandran Ashwin before completing his 16th test century with a flick off his pads after scoring his 5,000th run in tests.

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