Debutant Will Pucovski and Marnus Labuschagne scored fine half-centuries as Australia ended Day 1 of the rain hit third test at 166/2 against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday.
India included Rohit Sharma and debutant Navdeep Saini for Mayank Agarwal and the injured Umesh Yadav, while Australia dropped Joe Burns and Travis Head for Pucovski and David Warner.
After winning the toss and electing to bat first, veteran Warner, who had missed the first two Tests with a groin injury, didn’t last long as he edged a Mohammed Siraj delivery to Cheteshwar Pujara at first slip for 5.
The pair of Pucovski along with Labuschagne steadied the ship with a solid 100 run stand for the second wicket. The former had two reprieves- one on 26 when Rishabh Pant dropped a simple catch off Ravi Ashwin and the second one on 32 off the bowling off Siraj, with Pant again being the guilty party.
Saini claimed his maiden test wicket and finally broke the partnership by trapping the 22 year old Pucovski leg before wicket for a fine 62.
The duo of Labuschagne and Steve Smith then added an unbeaten 60 run stand for the third wicket, as the hosts ended Day 1 at 166/2.
The former was not out on 67, while Smith, who has been struggling for runs in this series, remained unbeaten on 31.
Stumps as the end of Day 1. ( Australia 166/2- Labuschagne 67*, Pucovski 62)- Mohammed Siraj 1/46, Navdeep Saini 1/32.