3rd Test: Pujara ton powers India to 277/2 at lunch on Day 2

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Melbourne, Dec 27 (IANS) Cheteshwar Pujara struck his 17th Test ton and skipper Virat Kohli got to a laborious half century as India played out a wicketless morning session to reach 277/2 at lunch on Day 2 of the third Test against Australia here on Thursday.

At the break, Pujara (103 batting) and Kohli (69 batting) went back undefeated as the struggle continued for the Australian bowlers on the docile Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) pitch.

Resuming the day at 215/2, the overnight duo of Pujara and Kohli played out the initial overs cautiously before the Saurashtra batsman completely dominated the off-spinner Nathan Lyon with his feet, more than with his bat, to bring up his 17th Test hundred.

Kohli, too, adopted his partner’s approach and looked in no hurry to pile up the runs as India managed to add 62 runs in the session.

Australia were far better than they were on the opening day, with more consistent lines and complying to a set game-plan.

Pacer Mitchell Starc was fantastic in the morning session, and so was Josh Hazlewood as they finally matched up to Pat Cummins’ performance on the second day.

But the Indian pair looked determined of not gifting their wickets away and head to the second session without being separated.

Brief Scores: India 277/2 (Cheteshwar Pujara 103 batting, Virat Kohli 69 batting, Mayank Agarwal 76; Pat Cummins 2/46) vs Australia at lunch on Day 2.

–IANS

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