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Cheteshwar Pujara hundred gives India command in Sydney

Chesteshwar Pujara’s third hundred of the series has given India the upper hand on day one of the fourth Test against Australia.

The Yorkshire batsman struck an unbeaten 130 as India ended the day on 303-4.

Pujara’s innings puts Australia on the backfoot at the SCG in what is a must-win Test for the hosts in order to avoid being the first Test team to lose a series to India on home soil.

A third hundred for Pujara takes his tally for the series to 458 after hitting three figures in the Adelaide and Melbourne matches.

Australia’s troubles with the Kookaburra ball were again highlighted by their failure to take a wicket with the second new ball.

The match in Sydney follows a 137-run defeat in Melbourne which saw India declare in both their innings having won the toss.

That continued India captain Virat Kohli’s record of never having lost a Test where he has won the toss, and that record (won 18, drawn three, lost none) could be extended with a win or draw.

Pujara batted out the day alongside Hanuma Vihari to the frustration of Australia pace bowlers Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood, who claimed three wickets for 188 runs between them.

Hazlewood was the pick of the Australia bowlers with 2-51 from his 20 overs, but he admitted it has been a mixed day that had been turned in India’s favour by the skill of Pujara.

“He [Pujara] is a class player. We just have to hold our patience longer than him and we haven’t done that so far,” Hazlewood said on Fox. “We had some good spells and some poor ones.”

Pujara and Vihari will resume on day two looking to add to their unbeaten partnership worth 75 runs.

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