Another Cheteshwar Pujara master-class gives India day 1 honours at SCG

Friday, 04 Jan, 2019

The MCG had received three demerit points after the drawn Ashes Test, last year.

With India winning their first Boxing Day Test, Kohli equalled predecessor Sourav Ganguly to win the most number of Tests overseas and also became only the second Indian captain after Bishan Singh Bedi to win two Tests Down Under.

The hosts, facing a scrap to avoid becoming the first Australia team to lose a Test series to India on home soil, managed to dislodge KL Rahul for nine, Mayank Agarwal for 77, Virat Kohli for 23 and Ajinkya Rahane for 18.

India began the 4th Test with satisfactory score and Cheteshwar Pujara scored a century on the 1st Day at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

Playing in only his second Test, Agarwal was targeted with bouncers but held firm, reinforcing his credentials after an impressive debut in Melbourne to reach 42 not out at the break with Pujara unbeaten on 16.

Australia's selection panel chairman Trevor Hohns said the batting revamp came after key players failed to take their opportunities.

Australian captain Tim Paine late a year ago blamed the absence of his predecessor Steve Smith and disgraced former vice-captain David Warner for Australia's poor performance against India in the third Test, which saw the home side lose by 137 runs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The MCG had been under pressure after India batted for nearly two days in their first innings on what appeared to be another lifeless deck.

The rock-like number three has been by far the best batsman from either side across the series against Australia, and brought up his ton in Sydney with a boundary off Mitchell Starc.

This throws weight on the point made by Australian skipper Tim Paine, post the third Test match against India.

Mitch Marsh was also dropped with Peter Handscomb recalled to counter India´s two spinners. The Indian side won by a comprehensive 137 runs, with which they have taken a 2-1 lead in the four-match series. It was also the same rating given to the Perth pitch used for the second Test.