After the 40-minute break, India resumes on 1-69 here at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Mayank Agarwal & Cheteshwar Pujara continues work at the crease on 42* & 16*.
It didn’t take that long for Agarwal to back up his 50 off 96 balls which is his 2nd half-ton at Test Match level.
Agarwal continues to play aggressively with the head staying still such as the cover drive which did look classic by presenting the open bat face.
That beautiful drive allowed Agarwal to perfect his placement forward on the front foot.
The same goes to his cut shot where he entirely whacked mid-wicket as it made the fielder hard to chase the ball down.
It’s something that KL Rahul didn’t do when he tried to cut past point & third slip.
Instead, he outside edged with no full drive from the bat as it carried straight to Shaun Marsh’s hands.
But Nathan Lyon has the last laugh when he dismissed Agarwal on 77.
Lyon tossed up straight with not much turn towards Tim Paine’s gloves before Agarwal whacked straight a few meters away from the bat.
It didn’t provide much power to go past the rope as it landed into the air & onto Mitchell Starc’s hands at long on.
Cheteshwar Pujara batted on and guided to a half-ton as India move past the 160 run mark.
Pujara is a solid as a rock in this series.
He knows how to set up a good foundation by blocking 100s of good balls with fantastic hand-eye coordination.
Besides, Pujara’s use of the crease helped him get his placement perfect by moving his feet closer to the ball.
That’s how Pujara scored the correct runs off an open bat face both straight and cross bat as well as rotating the strike.
It’s the attacking way for Pujara to keep his wickets & frustrate the Australian bowlers all day.
Day 1 Tea: India 2-177
India continued to keep it simple by playing plenty of safe shots down the ground & blocks out good balls.
Pujara continues to work slow and steady as he works on his way towards backing up his 100 on 64*.
On the other hand, Virat Kohli took Agarwal’s lead and became the aggressor by scoring runs quickly.
Kohli isn’t taking too much risk by scoring the runs going into the air.
Instead, Kohli focused on his natural game & scored runs quickly by moving forward with the footwork & presents his placement perfectly on the front foot.
That’s why his straight bat shots when presenting the full face provided plenty of power which saw Kohli score runs fast on 23*.
They tried to pitch up short most of the time so the Indian batsmen couldn’t whack off these shots.
But the Indian batsmen know how to get the job done under pressure when they’re able to watch the ball.
The reason why India score good runs off short balls is that they don’t hesitate or leave out good balls towards the keeper’s gloves.
After the 20-minute break, Australia should do a few things in mind to try and provide the breakthrough.
Make it hard for Kohli & Pujara to score runs off the stumps whether it’s a yorker or a straight short ball pitching at the middle of the crease.
You never know because Kohli or Pujara could make a mistake through an edge of whacking too early.