India charged towards their first series victory in Australia after Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant inspired a complete day of dominance as the tourists reached 622 runs in Sydney on Friday.

Having already retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, India moved a step closer to a series victory thanks to Pujara's masterclass of 193 and Pant's unbeaten 159 at the SCG on day two of the fourth match.

Australia toiled fruitlessly in the Sydney heat and were completely outplayed by India, who declared on 622-7 after a 204-run partnership between Pant and Ravindra Jadeja (81) was ended in the final session.

Having fielded for almost two full days, Australia navigated a tricky 10-over spell late in the day via Marcus Harris (19 not out) and Usman Khawaja (5no) to reach 24-0 at stumps, still trailing by 598 runs, albeit fortuitously after Khawaja was dropped by Pant.

It was another energy-sapping day for Australia in the field as India heaped further misery on the beleaguered hosts, who only managed one wicket in a lopsided first session.

Hanuma Vihari's dismissal to Nathan Lyon (4-178) for 42 inside the first hour of play was the only wicket to fall as he and Pujara put on 101 runs after India resumed on 303-4.

Pujara had brought up his 150 with a boundary through covers before Vihari looked on in disbelief when his review of a catch failed to save him despite replays seeming inconclusive.

India were never in real danger, though Pujara was fortunate to survive on 192 when Khawaja – fielding at first slip – dropped him after stretching to his right to get a hand to the outside edge.

Lyon, however, finally dislodged Pujara caught and bowled as the in-form India batsman left the field to a standing ovation having taken his series tally to 521 runs.

Pujara's dismissal reduced India to 418-6 but Pant and Jadeja kept the scoreboard ticking over against Tim Paine's Australia, who simply had no answer with the ball.

Lyon, Mitchell Starc (1-123), Josh Hazlewood (2-105) and Pat Cummins (0-101) were picked apart as Pant scored his second Test century and first against Australia with a boundary following the tea break.

Paine turned to Marnus Labuschagne (0-76) and even Khawaja (0-4) and Travis Head (0-20) in an act of desperation to find a breakthrough but there was no stopping Pant becoming the first India wicketkeeper to score a hundred in Australia from just 137 deliveries.

Virat Kohli appeared to be flirting with a declaration during the afternoon and he finally called his batsmen off the ground when Jadeja was bowled by Lyon.

Cheteshwar Pujara's unbeaten century on the first day of the fourth Test between India and Australia in Sydney provided Marnus Labuschagne with some inspiration.

India will clinch a 3-1 series victory if they triumph at the SCG and Pujara helped them reach stumps on Thursday with an imposing total of 303-4 by scoring a masterful 130 from 250 balls.

Labuschagne, making just his third Test appearance, will bat at number three like Pujara – a decision that had been met with surprise among former players like Ian Chappell and Shane Warne.

The all-rounder will be relying on his experience of playing in the position at Sheffield Shield level but acknowledged his India counterpart provided a valuable lesson on day one.

Labuschagne said: "He was very classy, wasn't he? His time, his patience around the crease and just the way he batted was very good. I think it's something I personally can take a lot from. 

"He just batted a lot of time and I think that's something he's done through this whole series. 

"That's what we're going to need to do. All our batters are going to need to step up and put a big score on the board.

"I've pretty much batted most of my time at Queensland at three. It does give me confidence going out in a position that I'm comfortable with. 

"It's going to be a good challenge and one I'm looking forward to."

India opener Mayank Agarwal shared a 116-run with Pujara after KL Rahul fell to Josh Hazlewood on nine in just the second over.

"It's great to watch him bat from the other end and keep watching him bat," Agarwal said of Pujara, who brought up his third century of the series.

"The way he grinds the bowlers. He's got a pattern to it, he understands his strengths, he sticks to that, he knows he's very tight with his defence. 

"He looks to do that and he waits for the bad ball to come."

Agarwal is playing just his second Test but when he holed out to long-on off Nathan Lyon on 77 it meant he had failed to convert a fifty in successive matches.

He said: "I am quite disappointed for missing out on a big score. I'm really disappointed I threw my wicket [away].

"With that said, it's a learning curve. If I don't make this mistake again it'll be a good learning [experience]."

Cheteshwar Pujara dominated Australia once more as India made a strong start to the fourth Test in Sydney on Thursday.

Pujara (130 not out) delivered his third century of the series to guide the tourists to 303-4 at stumps on day one at the SCG.

Having won the toss, India – who have already retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy and hold a 2-1 lead – are well placed to win a Test series in Australia for the first time.

Mayank Agarwal (77) was the only other India batsman to make a half-century on a batsman-friendly pitch, with Josh Hazlewood (2-51) the pick of the bowlers.

Agarwal and Pujara combined for a 116-run partnership for the second wicket after India chose to bat and KL Rahul fell early.

Rahul (9) edged Hazlewood to Shaun Marsh at first slip as Australia made a good start.

However, the hosts quickly turned to short-pitched bowling once more, while they wasted a review for a potential caught behind off Pat Cummins (0-62) when Pujara was on 12.

Agarwal played some beautiful drives and was becoming increasingly aggressive, particularly against Nathan Lyon (1-88).

But he fell after lunch with another aggressive stroke, caught at long on by Mitchell Starc off Lyon.

Pujara was characteristically patient and steady and Virat Kohli looked comfortable before departing shortly after tea.

Kohli (23) gloved Hazlewood down the leg side to Tim Paine, while a short ball from Starc (1-75) led to the departure of Ajinkya Rahane (18).

Pujara brought up his 18th Test century with a clip off his legs for four as he continued to frustrate Australia.

He was joined by Hanuma Vihari, who raced to 39 before stumps on another good day for India.

Cheteshwar Pujara expects Virat Kohli to get through the third Test against Australia without any problems despite the India captain struggling with a back injury.

Kohli called for treatment on his back during an aggressive spell of short-pitched bowling from Mitchell Starc on day two at the MCG, but was still able to score an impressive 82 as the tourists piled on the runs.

India declared just before the close on 443-7, thanks in part to Kohli's knock and a superb hundred from Pujara – his second of the series.

Australia finished the day 8-0 after navigating the final six overs and Pujara is confident his skipper will be okay to lead India as they look to forge 2-1 ahead with the final Test in Sydney to come in the new year.

"I don't think it's serious," Pujara told a media conference when asked about Kohli.

"The cause of the injury, I'm obviously not a physio so I can't say much about it. But I don't think it's serious.

"We had a wonderful partnership today … so I'm really pleased with that."

Kohli has been troubled by the issue before, needing the physio's attention during India's tour of England earlier in 2018.

Cheteshwar Pujara is confident India have enough runs on the board to secure victory in the third Test against Australia after declaring on 443-7 on day two.

The 30-year-old struck his second century of the series in Melbourne on Thursday as the tourists took control, their innings helped by a 170-run stand between Pujara (106) and captain Virat Kohli (82).

Kohli was unable to make it to three figures but Pujara is confident their first-innings total will be enough to ensure they are in prime position to take a 2-1 lead heading into the final match in Sydney.

"It's a tough pitch to score runs on," he told reporters after Australia closed 8-0 in reply.

"If you look at the first two days, the number of runs scored is less. I would say that to score 200 in a day is a tough ask so I think we have enough runs on the board.

"As we saw today I think the pitch has started deteriorating and has variable bounce on it.

"When I was batting yesterday and today I felt there was a difference, and I don't think it's easier to bat on now.

"From tomorrow onwards I think it will get difficult to bat, and our bowlers have been bowling well so I think we have enough runs on the board."

The variable bounce saw Pujara take one on the glove from Pat Cummins, while the delivery that dismissed him kept low after pitching short of a length.

"It's sore," he said when asked about his hand. "The conditions are challenging. I had to work really hard to get to my hundred. I had to bat almost more than four sessions to reach a hundred, which is hardly ever the case.

"Whenever I have batted I have got hundreds in three or four sessions, but in this game it looked I might have to bat more than four sessions to get to the hundred.

"As batsmen it is tough to get used to this pace. You will feel it is slow, and then one odd ball kicks up, and I got hit on my finger three or four times. Those were not short balls.

"They were back of a length, and I got hit on my gloves. As batsmen there is always doubt when playing on such pitches, and the ball which I got out to I couldn't have done anything about that. So if it stays low, you have limited options."

Cheteshwar Pujara posted another century as India continued to grind down Australia in the third Test in Melbourne on Thursday.

Pujara (106) brought up his 17th Test hundred on another good day for batting at the MCG as Australia battled in hot weather.

Virat Kohli (82) and Rohit Sharma (63 not out) made half-centuries as India reached 443-7 before declaring late on day two on a flat pitch that was heavily criticised on Wednesday.

Marcus Harris and Aaron Finch got to stumps safely, albeit unconvincingly, as Australia finished the day 8-0.

India had resumed at 215-2 as Pujara and Kohli pushed them further ahead while Australia's bowlers toiled.

Australia were somewhat unfortunate as multiple edges went either side of fielders, before Pujara brought up three figures for the second time in the series with a beautiful drive off Nathan Lyon (1-110).

Kohli adopted a more aggressive approach after lunch, although it would be his undoing as he attacked an over of short-pitched bowling from Mitchell Starc (2-87).

The India captain, who needed treatment on a suspected back problem, picked out Finch at third man to end his 170-run partnership with Pujara.

Pujara quickly followed as a delivery from Pat Cummins (3-72) stayed low during a period in which the MCG pitch showed signs of variable bounce coming into play.

Rohit and Ajinkya Rahane were starting to frustrate Australia once more, and Lyon saw two good chances go begging, including substitute fielder Peter Siddle dropping a sitter off the former.

But the off-spinner also saw a ball stay low to trap Rahane lbw for 34 before India started to up the tempo - Rishabh Pant (39) and Ravindra Jadeja (4) joining Rohit in chasing quick runs until Kohli decided to declare.

India caused some problems and Harris was hit in the helmet, but the tourists were unable to find a breakthrough in the six overs before stumps.

The presence of Virat Kohli at the crease has Ishant Sharma confident that India can seize control of the second Test against Australia on day three.

India captain Kohli ended the second day unbeaten on 82, leading the tourists to a solid position on 172-3 after they made an awful start - slumping to 8-2 after just 31 balls - in pursuit of Australia's 326.

While there is still work to be done when play resumes on Sunday, Ishant says the India dressing room will remain in high spirits as long as Kohli is out in the middle.

"Whenever [Kohli] is batting, we have to feel pretty confident," he told reporters. "We feel good, because we have finished the day in a strong position.

"Hopefully it can continue tomorrow [Sunday]. Right now, I can say it's equal. Hopefully we will win the first session [on Sunday] and turn the game in our favour."

Cheteshwar Pujara supported his skipper with 24 off 103 balls - during a restorative partnership of 74 - before Ajinkya Rahane added 90 alongside Kohli and ended the day 51 not out.

Ishant credited Pujara for keeping the Australia attack at bay in trademark fashion, while heralding the importance of Rahane's knock after the hosts belatedly made a breakthrough.

"We know that when Pujara defends, the ball doesn't go past," Ishant said. "He is someone you need in your team. I have played against him and I know how difficult it is to bowl to Pujara.

"When he plays, he makes the bowlers really tired, it takes its toll. We know that if he stays on the wicket, he can do wonders for the team. It was very unfortunate the way he got out [caught down the leg side off Mitchell Starc]. We don't get those kind of wickets, bowled down the leg and caught behind.

"Then Ajinkya came in and played some pretty good shots to shift the momentum. We ended the day pretty well."

Captain Virat Kohli said India were the better team and deserved to win after the tourists a dramatic finish to defeat a gallant Australia in the first Test in Adelaide.

India withstood a nervy finale at Adelaide Oval, where Kohli's men prevailed by just 31 runs as the visitors won the opening Test of a campaign on Australia soil for the first time on Monday.

Australia needed a record fourth-innings run chase to claim victory and despite falling to 156-6 and 235-9 in pursuit of 323, the home side came within a whisker of achieving the improbable before Josh Hazlewood was dismissed with the final ball before tea.

Tension was building prior to Ravichandran Ashwin's match-clinching breakthrough – Kohli visibly agitated as India's search for an historic win was thwarted by an inspiring rearguard display from Australia.

Kohli, however, insisted India were the superior outfit as the series heads to Perth for the second Test, starting Friday.

"It's important to stay calm. The odds were stacked up against them as soon as we got Pat Cummins out," Kohli said during the post-match presentation.

"I wouldn't say I was cool as ice but you try not to show it. It was just a matter of one mistake or one good ball. Super proud to have four bowlers and take 20 wickets to win this Test match. It's up to our batsmen to step up in this series. Pujara and Rahane stood up in this match.

"I thought we were the better team and deserved to win. I think when they bat together like that they are our most solid pair. I think it took a lot of grit and determination to put us past Australia.

"I think our middle order and lower order could've done better. These things are things to keep in mind for Perth. But if you had given me 1-0 up after the first game I would've taken that."

Cheteshwar Pujara was named man of the match after his 123-run display in the first innings, which he followed up with 71 in the second.

"I think playing here before has helped me a lot," Pujara added. "I think what has helped me is the preparation. Ultimately winning the Test match credit to all the bowlers.

"The first innings lead of 15 gave us the belief batting in the second innings. I always back my ability and I've got enough experience."

Head coach Ravi Shastri was pleased with "cool, disciplined, patient" India as they built a 166-run lead over Australia after three days of the first Test.

The tourists took an advantage into the second innings in Adelaide after bowling out Australia for 235 and then set about stretching their lead, first-innings centurion Cheteshwar Pujara again starring with an unbeaten 40.

Pujara partnered captain Virat Kohli (34) in a third-wicket stand of 71, while opener KL Rahul also contributed 44 runs, and Shastri was very happy with India's attitude throughout Saturday's play as they reached stumps with seven wickets still in hand.

"We'll take that," Shastri told FOX. "It was a good hard day's Test cricket. I thought we did well to wrap up the [Australia] innings quickly. We kept our cool, we were disciplined, we were patient.

"Then the same applied when we went out to bat. When we lost a couple of wickets, I think that partnership between Virat and Pujara was crucial. They added about 60 runs [actually 71].

"I would still say there's work to be done. But if you asked me at the start of the day, 'Would you take this?' I will take it."

Australia were similarly optimistic at the close of play, even with India well placed on 151-3.

Paceman Mitchell Starc said: "Apart from KL, who took us on a bit and got away with a few, I think we've been very good with the ball. It makes for an interesting last two days."

Cheteshwar Pujara again frustrated a toiling Australia bowling attack as India built a healthy lead on day three of the first Test in Adelaide.

First-innings centurion Pujara patiently compiled an unbeaten 40 from 127 balls to help his side, who had earlier secured a first-innings advantage of 15, reach stumps 166 ahead on 151-3.

The number three was twice given out off Nathan Lyon deliveries yet overturned both decisions using DRS on a rain-affected day that saw the honours go to the tourists.

Lyon did claim the key wicket of India skipper Virat Kohli (34) late in the evening session, but Australia look set to face a stiff target on a pitch that has so far proved difficult to score on.

After rain halted the start of play by almost an hour, India wasted little time claiming the three wickets required to end the first innings of Australia, who resumed on 191-7.

Mitchell Starc was the first to go as he edged behind to wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant after being tempted into a big drive by Jasprit Bumrah (3-47).

Travis Head (72) and Lyon (24 not out) claimed some valuable runs, chipping away at India's lead, but the former and Josh Hazlewood (0) fell victim to Mohammed Shami (2-58) in consecutive deliveries, ensuring Australia were dismissed for 235.

After claiming his first Test half-century in Australia, Head was caught behind from a beautiful Shami ball and Hazlewood immediately followed in similar fashion as India wrapped up the innings.

The covers were back on just as India stepped out to begin their second dig and, once the weather cleared, the tourists made a slow and cautious start.

Negotiating the new ball, India only scored 11 runs from nine overs but the run rate soon rose as KL Rahul and Murali Vijay settled at the crease.

Australia did have some success thanks to Starc, who claimed the wicket of Vijay (18) for the second time in the match when the opener edged to Peter Handscomb in the cordon, India reduced to 63-1.

Either side of tea, Lyon twice thought he had Pujara, only to see decisions for caught behind and lbw overturned.

India's first successful review was followed by a needless dismissal in the next over as Rahul tried to loft Hazlewood over mid-off and instead edged through to Tim Paine.

Pujara and Kohli then regained the initiative for India with a third-wicket stand of 71, but that alliance was broken shortly before stumps when the captain was caught at short-leg off Lyon. Australia's off-spinner has now taken Kohli's wicket more than any other bowler in Tests.

 

Cheteshwar Pujara took it upon himself to step up after his India team-mates crumbled in the first Test against Australia on Thursday.

Nathan Lyon will be crucial to Australia's chances of beating India in the upcoming Test series, according to Josh Hazlewood.

Teenager Prithvi Shaw scored a record-breaking century on his Test debut in Rajkot as India dominated West Indies on the opening day of the two-match series.

India batting coach Sanjay Bangar hailed a composed display from Cheteshwar Pujara as his first Test century in England helped the tourists claim a narrow lead. 

Cheteshwar Pujara tormented England with an unbeaten 132 to give India a narrow but potentially priceless advantage in the fourth Test at the Rose Bowl. 

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