Pujara departs for 123 as India end with 250/8


Adelaide:Cheteshwar Pujara struck a defiant century in an Adelaide Oval furnace to rescue India after Australia's pacemen threatened to dominate day one of the series-opening test on Thursday.

Getting rid of Virat Kohli early would have been on top of Australia's strategy in the first Test against India at the Adelaide Oval.

In marched superstar Kohli to a huge roar from the crowd, but a stunning catch by Usman Khawaja at gully off a Pat Cummins delivery saw him back in the pavilion for only three off 16 balls, with India in trouble.

However the India No 3 was a rock as his partners crumbled around him, pushing India to 250 for nine at the close with a brutal assault on the second new ball.

Nathan Lyon, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc all grabbed two wickets each as temperatures topped 36 degrees and the tourists wilted to 250-9 at stumps on day one.

"Once we lost Ashwin, I thought I had to accelerate". India included Rohit Sharma at number six instead of Hanuma Vihari.

The 28-year-old pacer, however, said it is still early days in the Test match and they will need to work hard to achieve a win from here on.

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

Not just the run-out, but Usman Khawaja's catch to send back the unsafe Kohli for 3 was one of the highlights of the day for the Aussies.

On Tuesday, the brother of Australia batsman Usman Khawaja was taken into custody by counter-terrorism police investigating the discovery in August of a laptop computer containing a fake terrorist hit-list.

"To be honest, we should have batted better but they also bowled well in those first two sessions", Pujara told reporters.

But after returning from a break, Hazlewood enticed Rahane into a drive and he edged to Handscomb in the slips for 13. They slid further when Rohit Sharma holed out attempting a slog off Lyon.

It was left to Pujara, in his 65th Test, to stay at the crease and keep chipping away, building a 41-run partnership with Rishabh Pant and then 62 with Ashwin before he was run out by Cummins.