In indicators ominous for India and inspiring for Australia, the beleaguered Steve Smith appeared harmful and his understudy Marnus Labuschagne struck an unbeaten half-century because the hosts reached 166 for 2 on a rain-marred opening day of the third Test.
At stumps, Labuschagne was unbeaten on 67 and Smith, after his uncharacteristic run of low scores thus far, appeared out of the woods with 31 assured runs, which included 5 authoritative boundaries. Labuschagne discovered the fence eight occasions.
This was after debutant Will Pucovski, using on some luck, made 62 on debut to interrupt the shackles for the under-fire aspect.
Smith appeared optimistic from the phrase go and was decided to not let the Indian bowlers dictate phrases to him.
Having entered the match after registering scores of 1, 0 and eight in his final three innings, Smith’s first assured shot got here in opposition to India’s tempo spearhead Jasprit Bumrah, who was properly pushed by the mid-on for his first boundary of the collection.
✔️ Will Pucovski fifty
✔️ Marnus Labuschagne fifty
✔️ Just two wickets misplaced
— ICC (@ICC) January 7, 2021
His confidence up after dismissing Pucovski for his first Test wicket, debutant pacer Navdeep Saini bought carried away and was responsible of bowling too full to Smith, who latched on to them with a few fours.
With Smith wanting in advantageous fettle, the early indicators have been ominous for India and skipper Ajinkya Rahane introduced again his nemesis Ravichandran Ashwin into the assault, however the Australian was equal to the duty on this event.
A tossed up supply was whipped off pads by mid-wicket after which Smith danced down the observe to loft Ashwin on the onside for one more boundary.
Meanwhile, Labuschagne was in his factor after he had settled in and performed just a few pleasing drives on each side of the wicket, having drawn confidence from the pull shot he performed in opposition to Bumrah firstly of his innings.
The two added 60 runs for the third wicket after a 100-run affiliation between Labuschagne and Pucovski, who was trapped in entrance of the wicket by Saini however not earlier than beginning his Test profession with a strong knock.
Pucovski additionally had luck on his aspect as wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant dropped the opener twice earlier than tea.
Stumps! A strong begin to the essential third Test for the Aussies.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) January 7, 2021
Pucovski was on 54 and Marnus Labuschagne on 34 on the tea break after 4 hours of play have been misplaced as a result of rain.
Introduced into the assault after 13 overs in India’s first bowling change, senior off-spinner Ashwin tempted Pucovski right into a drive and the batsman solely managed an edge after shedding his steadiness, however Pant failed to hold on to the providing regardless of getting his gloves to it within the twenty second over.
Pant spilled yet one more probability and on that event the unfortunate bowler was Siraj, whose quick and quick supply touched the batsman’s gloves on his solution to the keeper, who couldn’t full the duty. Pant managed to take it on the second try, however the ball had hit the bottom by then.
With luck on his aspect, Pucovski bought to his fifty when he pulled one other debutant, Navdeep Saini, by the broad mid-on area for a boundary.
Earlier, play resumed because the solar shone brightly after a four-hour rain interruption.
Groundsmen on the Sydney Cricket Ground labored relentlessly, together with utilizing a blower to go together with the super-sopper, to get the floor prepared for resumption at 3pm native time.
As many as 35 overs have been misplaced as a result of rain. Scheduled shut of play was prolonged to six.30pm with further half-hour permitted to make sure minimal overs.
This was after younger pacer Siraj dismissed Warner to depart Australia at 21 for one earlier than the inclement climate stopped play barely seven overs into the primary day’s motion.
The residence group had batted for less than 7.1 overs when play was interrupted.
Siraj despatched again Warner (5) when he had the seasoned opener caught behind by Cheteshwar Pujara at first slip within the fourth over, giving India their first breakthrough earlier than the heavens opened up.
The gamers ran off the sector as a bathe arrived from nowhere, forcing the groundsmen to cowl the pitch in addition to the sq..
Making a return after an extended harm layoff, Warner confirmed depth within the first few overs however bought carried away as he chased a large Siraj supply.
On the opposite had, barring a few uncomfortable moments in opposition to the shorter balls, Pucovski appeared strong within the center after Australia gained the toss and opted to bat within the penultimate match of the four-match collection.