Thursday, 18 April, 2019

'The Boxing Day Test is dead'

Ricky Ponting Explains How Cheteshwar Pujara Cheteshwar Pujara scored his second century of the ongoing Test series on Thursday
Jennie Wade | 27 December, 2018, 10:57

Brief Scores: India 1st Innings: 443/7 in 169.4 overs (Cheteshwar Pujara 106, Virat Kohli 82, Pat Cummins 3/72, Mitchell Starc 2/87).

The Indians dominated the third session completely as they added 92 runs in 34.1 overs and didn't lose any wickets to end the day's play on a high. Johnson criticised Kohli for his on-field gestures in the second Test in Perth, including the latter deciding against walking away straight after getting caught very low in the slips.

Pat Cummins was the sole wicket-taker for Australia picking two wickets in an excellent show with the ball.

Earlier, Brad Haddin admitted to being "depressed" at the state of the MCG pitch as Kohli and Pujara piled on the runs to grind Australia down in the first session of day two. The young Indian keeper top edged a short ball and sent one flying in the air to Usman Khawaja at point, gifting Starc his second wicket of the innings as he finished with 2-87.

He opened with a three through the covers off Josh Hazlewood and made it to 17 before Hanuma Vihari, promoted to opener from number six in the second Test, got off the mark. India lead by 435 runs.

Pat Cummins (40/2) was Australia's best, although it was mostly short-pitched bowling that looked unsafe.

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Having come together at tea on day one, Pujara and Kohli resumed at 215 for two in the morning, with the temperature already pushing 30 degrees Celsius (86F).

Agarwal, however, continued to bat along, bringing up his maiden half century on debut.

Cummins, who has troubled Kohli the most among Australia's bowlers during the series, did his best to hit back at the skipper, beating his bat with a couple of unplayable deliveries.

Meanwhile, banned Australian player Cameron Bancroft yesterday confirmed that it was David Warner who had asked him to alter the ball during the tampering scandal in South Africa and said he went along with it "to fit in".

Vihari took 25 balls and 33 minutes to score his first run as he batted with patience, which was lacking in previous opening partnerships in the first two Tests. A total of 89 overs were played on the first day of the Boxing Day Test in front of a packed house at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. This brought together Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma to the crease and the Australians chose to exert some pressure.

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