Millennium Post

Will Virat and his soldiers conquer Australia today?

Will Virat and his soldiers conquer Australia today?

Adelaide: The sun took a break but India shone to stay ahead of Australia in the opening Test after sporadic rain intrusions, K L Rahul's enterprise and Cheteshwar Pujara's obduracy culminated in a 166-run lead here Saturday. Virat Kohli was dismissed late in the final session as India reached 151 for three at stumps on day three at the Adelaide Oval.

The Indian skipper lunged forward to defend off Nathan Lyon (1-48) but was caught at short leg for an uncharacteristic knock of 34 (104 balls). At close of play, Cheteshwar Pujara was unbeaten on 40 runs, while Ajinkya Rahane was batting on 1 not out. India led by 166 runs.

Young Rishabh Pant took six catches during Australia's first innings to equal predecessor Mahendra Singh Dhoni's record of most catches by an Indian wicketkeeper in a Test innings. The 21-year-old Pant had a hand in dismissing Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb and Tim Paine on the second day before pouching on to edges off Mitchell Starc, Travis Head and Josh Hazlewood's willow on Saturday. He equalled the record after taking Hazlewood's catch off Mohammed Shami's ball in the first innings here.

In 2009, Dhoni had achieved his record feat during the Wellington Test against New Zealand. Pant, who is playing his sixth Test, was selected in the Indian team following the injury of Wriddhiman Saha and retirement of Dhoni in 2014. He has so far scored 346 runs with an average of 43.25 with the highest score of 114 against England.

Kohli became the fourth Indian batsman after Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid to score 1,000-plus runs in Test cricket against Australia in Australia. India's lead swelled past 150 and just when it appeared to be smooth sailing for the visitors, Lyon struck to remove Kohli before stumps and put the match in balance again. K L Rahul scored a quick-fire 44 off 67 balls.

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