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Cheteshwar Pujara Sends Twitter Into Meltdown After Scoring His First Century In Australia

Cheteshwar Pujara is being celebrated on Twitter for scoring his first century in Australia, and more importantly, for rescuing India from a horrendous batting collapse. At the end of Day 1 at the Adelaide Oval, India were 250/9, with Pujara contributing almost half of the team’s runs with a gritty 123-run knock. Several Indian cricketers such as Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh and Virender Sehwag took to Twitter to praise Pujara’s effort.

With his gritty knock, the 30-year-old batsman also reached 5,000 Test runs in his 108th inning. Incidentally, one of India’s most celebrated Test batsmen Rahul Dravid had also reached the same milestones in equal number of innings. Just before stumps, Pujara was run out by Pat Cummins and India concluded the Day 1 on 250/9 with Mohammed Shami (6*) on the crease.

India faltered in the beginning as openers KL Rahul (2) and Murali Vijay (11) lost their wickets cheaply inside the first seven overs.

Skipper Virat Kohli joined them back in the pavilion after managing to score just three runs off 16 deliveries.

Ajinkya Rahane also failed to put up an impressive show as Hazlewood dismissed him for 13.

Rohit Sharma, who made his way to the Indian Test team after 11 months, stood tall for a while, scoring two boundaries and three sixes to contribute with 37 runs.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, who failed miserably in England but covered it up with noteworthy knocks against the Windies at home, made just 25 runs off 38 balls in the pace-friendly wicket in Adelaide.

All-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin also managed to contribute 25 runs.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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Hanuma Vihari Doesn’t Want To Be Tagged As The Guy Who Isn’t A Team Man

Hanuma Vihari, who has been in and out from the Indian Test team since his debut against England at The Oval last year, has hit form recently. Playing for Rest of India, he became the first batsman to score three successive centuries at the Irani Cup, all the three coming against Ranji Champions Vidarbha. Vihari, who will be playing for the Delhi Capitals in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL), wants to give his best for his team whether it is India or Delhi Capitals.

Vihari, who is most comfortable in the middle order in Tests but won’t mind facing the red cherry at the start of an innings if asked to do so once again.

“Yes, I will do whatever is needed for the team. These are situations you face as a sportsman, and you have got to learn to accept it. Whether it’s playing for India or Delhi Capitals, I don’t want to be tagged as the guy who is not a team man. I want to be out there for our team,” Vihari said with conviction.

The Delhi Capitals have a star-studded top order with Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, skipper Shreyas Iyer and the indomitable Rishabh Pant in the ranks.

Vihari knows it will be a fight to get into the playing XI but he is ready to don the role of a finisher the same way he agreed to open for India in unfamiliar conditions in Melbourne.

“Honestly, given that I am playing the IPL after a three-year gap, I am ready to go out there and bat anywhere the management asks me to, whether it’s at the top of the order, or in the role of a finisher.

On my part, I am really in a great mental space and a great position as far as my game is concerned. I am really well-prepared for everything right now,” the 25-year-old Andhra batsman said.

He was a part of SunRisers Hyderabad in 2013 but a lot has changed since then. He has scored loads of runs for India A and also struck a fifty against England on his Test debut. “I am excited, and fully ready for the season ahead with Delhi Capitals. Mainly because in these three years, I have developed so much as a player.

“I am much more confident of performing now. Also, we have a great mix of Indian and foreign players. I am really looking forward to playing under Shreyas and Ricky’s (Ricky Ponting) leadership,” Vihari said.

(With PTI inputs)

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India vs Australia: Virat Kohli Checks His Bat, Says Back To Work Ahead Of Australia Series

"Back To Work": Virat Kohli Checks His Bat Ahead Of Australia Series

Virat Kohli will lead India in series against Australia. © Twitter

Virat Kohli had a close look at the stroke of his bat ahead of the two-match Twenty20 International (T20I) series against Australia. The prolific India batsman, who will return to lead the hosts against Australia after being rested from the final two One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and T20I series against New Zealand, posted some pictures on Twitter and wrote, “back to work.”

Kohli was given rest considering his workload. The team management and Senior selection committee was of the view that it would be ideal for him to get adequate rest ahead of the home series against Australia.

After winning the Test and ODI series vs Australia, Kohli ensured India seal the ODI series against New Zealand.

Prior to the Australia tour, Kohli was rested for the home T20 series against the Windies. He was also given a break for the Asia Cup in September and Rohit led the team to the title in the event held in the UAE.

The Indian players have a hectic schedule going into the World Cup scheduled to be held in May-July in England and Wales.

Following the T20I series, India will host Australia for five ODIs starting March 2 and soon after the Indian Premier League (IPL) follows.


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Ekta Bisht Helps India Women Win Against England In First ODI

World champions England had their batswomen to blame as they made heavy weather of a small target and lost to India by 66 runs in the opening ODI at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Friday. In the first fixture of this ICC Women’s Championship rubber, Ekta Bisht starred with the ball for the hosts with figures of 4/25. The visitors lost their final seven wickets for 25 runs to be bowled out for 136. For England, a 73-run stand between Natalie Sciver and captain Heather Knight was all they could muster as the lower-order could not handle the pressure of a run chase.

Sciver was on 44 off 66 when she backed up far too out of the crease at the non-striker’s end and Knight’s shot rolled back in the direction of Bisht who had all the time in the world to throw down at the bowling end.

Danielle Wyatt fell to Deepti Sharma in the next over and Bisht then ensured that the rest of England’s lower middle-order fell in quick succession.

Knight remained unbeaten on 39 as she ran out of partners.

India jolted England early with pacer Shikha Pandey dismissing Amy Jones and the returning Sarah Taylor with almost identical deliveries that moved back sharply to catch the two batters plumb in front of the stumps. 

Deepti Sharma removed Tammy Beaumont as England recovered from 38/3 but it was not enough in the end.

Earlier, put into bat, India threw away a strong start from Jemimah Rodrigues (48 off 58) and Smriti Mandhana (24 off 42) to lose five wickets for the addition of 26 runs, slipping to 95/5 before Mithali Raj (44 off 74) stemmed the rot with a 54-run partnership with Taniya Bhatia.

Jhulan Goswami then struck three fours and a six in her 37-ball knock of 30 to push India past the 200-mark.

Brief scores: India 202 in 49.4 overs (Jemimah Rodrigues 48, Mithali Raj 44; Sophie Ecclestone 2/27, Natalie Sciver 2/29) beat England 136 in 41 overs (Natalie Sciver 44, Heather Knight 39 not out; Ekta Bisht 4/25) by 66 runs.

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