Kohli falls as Australia strikes put India on ropes

India vs Australia Flashback Look At Top Five Test Clashes

Initially, Pujara was circumspect as India stumbled to 127-6 - his first 50 runs came from 153 balls.

Pundits have nonetheless backed Kohli's side to do what no other Asian team has done and win a test series in Australia, though for that to happen the skipper will need his team mates to chip in with more runs than they did in series defeats in South Africa and England.

It was only Cheteshwar Pujara's 16th Test hundred that saved India the blushes and brought some respectability to the total, albeit he was dismissed right at the stroke of stumps. Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins are all confident they won't require a rest but that decision will be shaped by how many overs they are forced to bowl.

"Our quicks are fresh and Travis Head bowls some handy off-spinners so we have options there but we'll be backing our bowlers".

"Just keep them in the field as long as possible and it will pay dividends in this Test and beyond, " is the mantra India must adopt.

Starc also spoke about his change in action that helped him generate movement with the Kookaburra ball early on that troubled the Indian top order. It was the Pujara show all day in the face of some disciplined Australian bowling.

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India started the key Australia tour with a loss in the first Twenty20 on November 21 but went on to level the three-match series after the second game was rained off and they won the final match. Hazlewood and Starc kept teasing Vijay and Pujara by bowling full outside off and soon reaped rewards for the consistency. But Pujara stood tall amid the ruins to take India to 250/9 at stumps. On a couple of occasions, he drove the ball to get the score moving but ultimately this led to his dismissal.

The visitors have only themselves to blame for their troubles as most of their top order batsmen virtually threw away their wickets by going after deliveries which they should have left alone.

Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane (13) then came together for the fourth wicket, trying to put up a semblance of a partnership. On a day when Australia's four pacers operated as a unit, Pujara's calm application on an Adelaide wicket offering extra bounce was a sight to behold. While Australia will be looking to bowl out India as quickly as possible. The duo then added 41 runs for the sixth wicket as India crossed 100 in the 41st over, including five sixes surprisingly.

Ahead of their first Test against India, Paine said the Aussies, still recovering from the ball-tampering scandal, has identified the areas that needed improvements. Ashwin chipped in with 25 runs but was able to play out 76 deliveries.

The India number three battled a hamstring strain late in the day but was a rock even as his partners crumbled around him, pushing India to 250 for nine at the close with a brutal assault on the second new ball.

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