IND vs AUS 3rd Test: Marnus Labuschagne, Will Pucovski dig deep to put hosts on top

What started off as a great day for Ajinkya Rahane & co. soon turned into a dull affair, as Australia dominated the proceedings of rain-marred opening day of the third Test in Sydney. Marnus Labuschagne dig deep as he finished unbeaten on 67, taking Australia’s total to 166/2 at stumps on Day 1. He will resume the action on the second day alongwith Steve Smith, who also seemed to have found his lost rhythm. The former Aussie skipper ended the day with 31 from 64 deliveries, which included five fours. 

The action kicked-off on an emotional note, with Mohammed Siraj seen weeping as both the teams lined up for their respective national anthem. However, Siraj soon went on to display his aggressive side as he celebrated David Warner’s wicket with a finger on the lips gesture. The swashbuckling Aussie opener, who is playing his first match of the series, was removed cheaply on 5 when an outside edge was caught brilliantly at first slips by Cheteshwar Pujara. 

The play was then interrupted by rain and afterwhich Australia began to put pressure on the Indian attack as action resumed. The Indian bowlers failed to scalp any wickets in the second session, as Australian debutant Will Pucovski completed an impressive half-century. The 22-year-old was dropped twice by Rishabh Pant, and the batsman made most out of the drop chances. He along with Labuschagne added 100 runs for the second wicket, before eventually being dismissed by Navdeep Saini on 62.

After Pucovski’s dismissal things remained the same in the Australian camp, with Smith joining  Labuschagne in the middle. Smith, who had only managed to score 10 runs in the previous two matches, looked in fine fettle. The duo have so far added 60 runs for the third wicket and will continue from where they’ve left on Friday. India, on the other hand, would hope for a better show from their bowlers and would look to restrict Australia before they go on to post a gigantic first-inning total on the board.

Brief Scores: AUS 166/2 (55) | Steven Smith: 31 & Marnus Labuschagne: 67  

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Sagar Biswas

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