Order should have batted better against Aussies: Cheteshwar Pujara


Back then, in January 1994, a burgeoning XI led by Allan Border slogged through 141 abstemious overs from South Africa to post 292 on a slow, low turner at the SCG, grinding out a first-innings lead but not, in the end, a victory.

The Southampton Test - where Ashwin had match figures of 3-142 - will be brought up again, but the fact remains that Ashwin wasn't fully fit and the decision to play him was taken by the team management in full knowledge of that condition. The No. 3 batsman crafted a brilliant 123, studded with seven fours and two sixes, before being run out at the stroke of stumps on Day 1.

Fears abound that Australia have lost their mean streak, as if a sneer and a nasty remark on the field could trump skill with bat and ball.

Ashwin was even asked at the press conference about the difference between his previous tours to Australia and now.

"... they're (India) up against a really talented young Australian cricket team who have got plenty to prove", he said. Sometimes when you are seeing it on TV, it doesn't look like it is doing a lot. "We're still fighting, still in the contest". The hosts will be looking to get close to India's total. We'll work it out, but it's a tough wicket and they bowled really well. You sense these moments. "I feel the match is well poised and every run is going to be gold".

India responded with a wicket of its own in Ishant Sharma's (2-31) opening over, with Aaron Finch skittled by the third delivery to leave Australia at 1-0. Shaun March threw his wicket away when he chase a wide, looping delivery and only succeeded in dragging it back onto the stumps in the first over after lunch. Usman Khawaja has spent considerable time in the middle. Whereas in the UAE against Pakistan, he was able to find the boundary with enough regularity to ease close-in fielders away from him and rotate the strike often enough to escape the clutches of Yasir Shah in particular, here he was gradually worn down, eventually pushing his hands into the general vicinity of Ashwin;s offbreak and being caught behind.

Australia is well positioned to take control of the First Test after reducing a reckless India to 9/250 on day one in Adelaide.

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"At the same time I'm trying to keep it as simple as I can". He has played only 64 Tests, and already has more Man-of-the-Series awards than any other India player. Harris made 26 runs from 57 balls.

Local hero Head joined Peter Handscomb (34) at the crease and the pair put on 33, but just when Handscomb looked to be opening his shoulders he played a lazy cut shot and edged to Rishabh Pant in the slips.

Starc hoped to be more consistent with the ball in the coming days. There is a bit of hold in the wicket but it is not something that is considerable or vicious or anything like that.

Cheteshwar Pujara raced past 5,000 Test runs and on the way scored one of his best centuries Thursday, with the experienced number three crediting a stint at Yorkshire for helping him prepare. "But it's nice to see the ball moving around and I think we've all been preparing brilliantly for this Test series with a little period off after the Shield game".

"Yeah, at times when situations are hard you do find ways to upset the batsmen's rhythm", he said.

"It's not an easy wicket to bat on", he said.