In indicators ominous for India and inspiring for Australia, the beleaguered Steve Smith seemed harmful and his understudy Marnus Labuschagne struck an unbeaten half-century as the hosts reached 166 for 2 on a rain-marred opening day of the third Test In Sydney. At Stumps, Labuschagne was unbeaten on 67 and Smith, after his uncharacteristic run of low scores up to now, 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, driving on some luck, made 62 on debut to interrupt the shackles for the under-fire facet.
Smith seemed constructive 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, zero 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 way of the mid-on for his first boundary of the collection.
His confidence up after dismissing Pucovski for his first Test wicket, debutant pacer Navdeep Saini obtained carried away and was responsible of bowling too full to Smith, who latched on to them with a few fours.
With Smith trying in superb fettle, the early indicators had 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 way of mid-wicket after which Smith danced down the monitor 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 either 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 stable knock.
Pucovski additionally had luck on his facet as wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant dropped the opener twice earlier than tea.
Pucovski was on 54 and Marnus Labuschagne on 34 on the tea break after 4 hours of play had been misplaced on account of rain.
In between three reprieves, Pucovski performed some spectacular pictures and likewise seemed stable in defence after Mohammed Siraj had sent back the returning David Warner early.
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 dropping his steadiness, however Pant failed to hold on to the providing regardless of getting his gloves to it within the 22nd over.
Pant spilled another likelihood and on that event the unfortunate bowler was Siraj, whose quick and brief 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 facet, Pucovski obtained to his fifty when he pulled one other debutant, Navdeep Saini, by way of 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 along with the super-sopper, to get the floor prepared for resumption at 3pm native time.
As many as 35 overs had been misplaced on account of rain. Scheduled shut of play was prolonged to six.30pm with additional 30 minutes 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 staff 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 a protracted damage layoff, Warner confirmed depth within the first few overs however obtained 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 seemed stable within the center after Australia received the toss and opted to bat within the penultimate match of the four-match collection.
Rohit Sharma returned to the Indian enjoying XI instead of Mayank Agarwal, whereas Saini was handed a Test debut, changing an injured Umesh Yadav.
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