Published: Sat, January 05, 2019
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Cheteshwar Pujara hits another ton as India make impressive start in Sydney

Cheteshwar Pujara hits another ton as India make impressive start in Sydney

India remain on course for a historic first series win in Australia after dominating day two of the fourth and final Test in Sydney.

Senior batsman Usman Khawaja was also called up after a layoff of almost two years as Australia look to find the formula to turn around a poor run of form in time for their World Cup defence in England later this year.

Australia's selection panel chairman Trevor Hohns said the decision to revamp the squad was taken due to the team's poor show against South Africa and also keeping the World Cup in mind.

Virat Kohli won an important toss for a start, making sense of playing Kuldeep Yadav over Umesh Yadav, and then Agarwal and Pujara helped India win the session with an unbeaten 59-run stand for the first wicket - after KL Rahul's latest failure in Test cricket threatened a totally different script.

Jadeja was soon twirling his bat in his trademark celebration of a half century, his 10th in tests, and for while it looked like Pant would overhaul Pujara with a maiden double century. The two batsmen picked the Australian bowlers and start dispatching them all over the ground. He drove his second ball through the covers for three before once again dropping anchor, blocking and targeting only loose balls.

Khawaja arrived at the venue on Friday morning with high hopes of Australia's quicks running through India, who resumed at 4-303.

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Sri Lankan batting legend Kumar Sangakkara summed up his innings in a tweet. "@cheteshwar1 showing how trusting your strengths and being unashamedly dogged in technique and concentration brings great rewards".

So desperate were Australia at this point that Khawaja was given a bowl - only the second time he has been called on in a Test.

In doing so, he also batted 1200-plus deliveries thus far in the four matches, the most for an Indian batsman against Australia in a Test series, ahead of Dravid's 1203 balls faced in 2003-04.

Jadeja was finally undone by a tired Lyon who could barely muster a celebration as he knocked the stumps over and Kohli called it a day.

But he was dragged after the solitary over in favour of leg-spinner Marnus Labuschagne. He finished with 1,049 balls in that four-match series.

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