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Pujara’s classy hundred puts India in command in third Test; India declare at 443/7

Cheteshwar Pujara produced yet another classy hundred and stitched a 170-run stand with captain Virat Kohli (82) to put India in command against Australia on the second day of the third Test here Thursday.

Pujara hit his second century of the series, a dogged but faultless 106 off 319 balls, to ensure that India consolidated the good start of the first day Wednesday. It was though his slowest hundred in Test cricket yet.

Kohli, who contributed a significant 82 off 204 balls, made a surprising declaration and finished India’s first innings at 443 for 7.

Post lunch, Kohli-Pujara took their third-wicket partnership to 170 runs before the game turned.

The Indian skipper took medication for some back issue and then stepped through the gears as he brought out two pulls against Mitchell Starc (1/68) in the 123rd over. He pressed on the accelerator a tad too much, and cut straight to third man, much to the bowler’s delight.

Four overs later, in the 126th, Pujara got a delivery from Cummins that kept a tad low and knocked back his stumps as India were suddenly reduced to 299-4.

In the morning session, Pujara scored his 17th hundred as India reached 277/2 at lunch.

Australia were eight for no loss at stumps in reply to India’s first-innings total of 443/7 declared on the second day of the third Test against India on Thursday.

Openers Marcus Harris (5) and Aaron Finch (3) were at the crease at close of play.

Brief scores:

India 1st innings: 443/7 declared in 169.4 overs (Cheteshwar Pujara 106, Virat Kohli 82, Mayan Agarwal 76, Rohit Sharma not out 63; Pat Cummins 3/72)

Australia 1st innings: 8 for no loss in 6 overs.

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