Australia take charge as India batsmen crumble

FILE Australian captain Tim Paine

Cheteshwar Pujara scored a gritty 123 in punishing conditions to claw India back into the opening Test in Adelaide Thursday after Australia seized early control with some blistering bowling.

The India-Australia Test series got underway with the first match that began earlier today at Adelaide. Even as Josh Hazlewood nipped Rahul, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins got rid of Vijay and Kohli respectively.

At the end of a day characterised by poor shot selection, Pujara went for a quick single on the second last ball and was removed in a brilliant run-out by a diving Cummins.

The India number three battled a hamstring strain late in the day but was a rock even as his partners crumbled around him, pushing India to 250 for nine at the close with a brutal assault on the second new ball. Rohit Sharma, who was making his Test comeback, showed intent and smacked three sixes, two of which came off Cummins, to score 37 runs.

"Once we lost Ashwin, I thought I had to accelerate". Australian media, quoting police sources, said Arsalan Khawaja was being questioned about forgery and an attempt to pervert justice, but had never meant to commit a terrorism offense.

In their first home Test since the ball-tampering scandal in March, Australia took four wickets before lunch with the batsmen guilty of playing at deliveries they would have been better off leaving alone. "As a captain, it will be an opportunity to leave a legacy and be the first Indian team to beat Australia in Australia".

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Veteran Murali Vijay, in the side after young gun Prithvi Shaw suffered ankle ligament damage in a warm-up game, didn't last much longer, caught behind by skipper Tim Paine off Starc for 11.

Five of India's top six were out to loose shots, including captain Kohli, who fell for three to a stunning one-handed catch in the gully by a leaping Usman Khawaja.

It will take some grab to top Khawaja for the catch of the summer.

After an hour, they were 25-3 with Cheteshwar Pujara not out seven and Ajinkya Rahane unbeaten on two.

The 30-year-old notched his 16th century and also passed 5,000 test runs.

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