Classy Pujara century, Kohli fifty put India on top

Virat Kohli has a recent history of back issues

In-form Indian No.3 Cheteshwar Pujara brought up his second century of the series before lunch on day two of the Boxing Day Test at the MCG.

India opened with a new pair in Hanuma Vihari and Agarwal, having dropped the out of form KL Rahul and M Vijay. Cheteshwar Pujara (68) and Virat Kohli (47) then added an unbroken 92 for the third wicket to put India in control.

Pujara and Kohli, the overnight batsmen, were instrumental in setting up a solid base with a stand of 170 for the third wicket, while Rohit ensured that the total was stretched after the duo's departure in quick succession.

Rishabh Pant danced down the wicket and heaved Lyon straight to Pat Cummins at long-on.

Skipper Kohli joined Pujara at the crease after tea.

India vs Australia, Live Score, Latest Updates, 3rd Test: Kohli drives the ball towards cover, but is intercepted inside the circle that denies him the single that he has been looking for quite some time now. The battle between Kohli and Starc after the second new ball was taken was a treat to watch.

A day after Christmas festivities, local supporters were left flat, however, and the Australian bowlers frustrated by the drop-in pitch that offered very little movement. On the back of Mayank, Kohli, and Pujara, India managed to dominate the Day 1.

The combination of Agarwal and Vihari was India's sixth opening pairing in 2018, and fifth in 11 overseas Tests this year. Earlier, Agarwal kept the scoreboard ticking after a watchful initial period, reaching his maiden Test half-century off 95 balls.

India declared at 7-443, just as the Australian bowling attack finally started to see wickets tumble.

Mayank Agarwal and Cheteshwar Pujara have pegged Australia firmly on the backfoot, India were 94/1 at lunch with Agarwal cruising to his maiden worldwide fifty. Lyon, who was the hosts' key bowler in the previous match, didn't look as effective for he could hardly get any purchase from the track. It was a short delivery from Cummins, going down the leg with the angle. With his steady knock in his very first global innings, the debutant has certainly ensured his place in the playing XI for the final test match of the series at the SCG as well. This brought together Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma to the crease and the Australians made a decision to exert some pressure.

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