India vs Australia 3rd Test Day 1 Highlights: Labuschagne, Pucovski hand Australia control; Saini picks maiden Test wicket

Ind vs Aus Highlights, 3rd Test Day 1: Will Pucovski and Marnus Labuschagne hit half-centuries as Australia at Stumps finished at 166/2 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Navdeep Saini celebrates after picking his maiden Test wicket as he trapped Will Pucovski to give India an important breakthrough.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Hello and welcome to Sportstar's LIVE Coverage of Day one of the third Test between Australia and India at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

INDIA VS AUSTRALIA, THIRD TEST, SCG, DAY 1 LIVE SCORE

Stumps Day 1: Australia 166/2 after 55 overs - Well the final two sessions belonged to Australia as Will Pucovski hit his maident Test half-century and Marnus Labuschagne with an unbeaten half-century have handed Australia control. Steve Smith is back in business and has carried his bat through on a day where just 7.1 overs were possible due to rain and the rest of the first session was washed out. For India Mohammed Siraj and debutant Avdeep Saini picked a wicket each with R Ashwin putting an impressive show with his off-spin. Overall, tough day for India after Australia opted to bat first.  It will be an early start (4:30 AM IST) tomorrow to make up for the lost overs. Do join us.

Australia 161/2 after 50 overs: With just five overs remaining for the day, Rahane has tossed the ball to Jadeja and it's spin from both ends. Ashwin has kept things toght and so as Jadeja and a wicket here would help India get back into the game. There was a loud appeal for a bat-pad catch but Rahane didn't take the review, and rightly so.

Australia 154/2 after 46 overs: Ashwin is bowling a lovely spell but Smith is up to the task and is using his feet beautifully to smother the spin. However, Ashwin is mixing his deliveries well and is testing both the batsmen. 

Australia 148/2 after 43 overs: Marnus Labuschagne hits his first half-century against India and this has been such a sublime innigs. He has dropped anchor and has given Australia control with Smith motoring from the other end. The partnership is worth 42 off just 53 balls and both batsmen are now well-set in the middle. With 12 overs to go, India will aim to get a breakthrough.

Australia 123/2 after 38 overs: Steve Smith is up and running as he smacks Saini for a couple of boundaries but was lucky as a flick almost landed in the hands of the fielder at leg slip. India are on an attacking mode but need to be careful as Smith is looking good and has come out with a lot of intent.  

Australia 108/2 after 35 overs: WICKET - Saini strikes on debut and he has got the well-set Will Pucovski who falls for a 110-ball 62. He was a dead duck as soon as the ball hit his pads as Pucovski misses the flick and the ball was hitting the middle stump. India break the 100-run stand and that brings Steve Smith into the middle. 

Australia 94/1 after 32 overs: Bumrah begins proceedings as 24 overs are left in the day and he starts in brilliant fashion, on the mark as Pucovski gets going with a single.

The covers are off and we are all set for the final session of play.

It has started to rain again in Sydney and the covers are again back.

Tea Day 1: Australia 93/1 after 31 overs: Will Pucovski rides his luck to get to his maiden half-century in Test cricket and he is having a dream debut with India handing him three lives. The Indian bowling was tight but failed to break the stand as Pucovski and Labuschagne have added an unbeaten 87 runs off 165 deliveries for the second wicket. Ashwin and Siraj created opportunities but Rishabh Pant dropped Pucovski twice and then Bumrah failed to effect a run-out. Australia have recovered after losing David Warner early. India in search for wickets. Back in 20...

Australia 59/1 after 27 overs: Another Drop! Rishabh Pant puts down Pucovski once again this time the batsman batting on 32. Pant is having a horror time behind the stumps and the debutant stitches a valuable fifty-run stand with Labuschagne. Siraj bangs in short and the pace got the better of Pucovski's pull, Pant paddles back gets his glove but spills it before collecting on the bounce. Soft signal was out but replays confirmed the ball had touched the ground. 

Australia 55/1 after 24 overs: Opportunity Missed - Rishabh Pant drops a regulation catch and hands Pucovski a life and Ashwin is not too happy. Ashwin had built the pressure along with Siraj and this time draws an outside edge as the batsman plays for the turn but the ball goes straight only for Pant to spill the catch. Life for the debutant. 

Australia 47/1 after 21 overs: The partnership between Pucovski and Labuschagne is steadily growing but the good part is India hasn't allowed the duo to run away with the game as the run-rate is just above 2 rpo. Mohammed Siraj is back into the attack and the ploy of bowling on the pads to Labuschagne continues with a leg slip in play. Rahane might just bring debutant Saini into play.

Australia 46/1 after 18 overs: Bumrah is clicking 140kphs constantly and has tested both Pucovski and Labuschagne while Ashwin has been trying to purchase some turn and bounce. Key will be to deceive the batsmen through the air and the veteran bowler will pull out a trick or two.

Australia 41/1 after 15 overs: Spin being introduced and Ashwin starts well as he gives just a single and both batsmen are aware of the fact that the off-spinner can cause trouble. However, Labuschagne has looked really solid since resumption and this time with an excellent on-drive spoils Bumrah's excellent over. 

Australia 31/1 after 11 overs: Both Pucovski and Labuschagne are shuffling across the crease and both Siraj and Bumrah are eyeing LBW mode of dismissal as both bowlers and bowling around the middle stump line, keeping it full but occassionally dropping it short. Interesting passage of play.

Australia 27/1 after 8 overs: Finally the game is underway as Siraj completes his over with both Pucovski and Labuschagne picking three each to keep the scorecard ticking. India will aim to pick another wicket after resumption.

Alright play is scheduled to start at 09:30 AM followed by Tea at 11:10 AM. 57 overs will be bowled for the day. Scheduled close extended till 1:00 PM with extra 30 overs being permitted. (All timings IST)

The blowers are at full work but it seems the sides of the pitch are still wet... The good news is there is no rain at the moment.

The covers are coming off and the umpires are inspecting the field. Further inspection at 2:30pm local time (09:00 AM IST)

According to The Guardian the rain seems to have relented and the moppers are at work. Fingers crossed and hope we have a resumption soon. 

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The rain is back and so as the covers. The wait continues... Good news as the covers are coming off and we should have an inspection shortly.

It's still raining and we are not expecting a resumption anytime soon.

Lunch Day 1: Rain has forced early Lunch. This was a frustrating start but India won't mind as they have taken the prized scalp of David Warner. Just 7.1 overs have been possible and we hope the weather clears soon and action resumes. Expect play to resume at 7:30am IST, if there is no rain. Back in 30... 

The rain has become heavier and we might have an early Lunch as we are just 15 minutes from the scheduled break.

It has started raining again! The covers are coming off and play should begin anytime. Will be interesting to see how the batsmen will react to this little break. Indian bowlers would expect some spice from a good batting surface and a wicket here would make it India's session. 

Australia 21/1 after 7.1 overs: Rain Halts Play - The players walk off and as expected it is presently drizzling and India will be happy with the first 40 minutes of play. Labuschagne and Pucovski are trying to forge a stand with both batsmen targetting the leg side to keep the scorecard ticking. For now, the rain has picked up.  

Australia 8/1 after 4 overs: WICKET - Huge one for India and Siraj with the breakthrough as Warner departs. It was an away going delivery, Warner goes for the drive, gets a thick outside edge and Pujara at second slip takes an excellent catch. Top start from the Indians. Marnus Labuschagne joins Pucovski.

Australia 5/0 after 2 overs: Warner and Pucovski are off the mark and Mohammed Siraj has strayed down the leg a bit and is yet to find his rhythm. Warner, meanwhile has shown a lot of intent and is very keen to rotate the strike.

Australia 0/0 after 1 over: Jasprit Bumrah starts with a maiden over and tests debutant Will Pucovski with a short ball and the batsman goes for a tentative hook but misses the ball.

Groundsmen were at work early on Day one of the third Test as rain stopped play after Australia opted to bat first.   -  GETTY IMAGES

 

Alright then we are done with the National Anthems and it will be Will Pucovski along with David Warner who will open the batting for Australia. For India it will be Jasprit Bumrah with the new ball. Three slips, a gully and a short leg in place. Here we go

Toss: Australia has won the toss and opted to bat first

Playing XI:

India: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (C), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini

Australia: David Warner, Will Pucovski, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Matthew Wade, Cameron Green, Tim Paine (C/WK), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood

India vs Australia: McGrath lauds India's bowling strategy for Smith

While Navdeep Saini will be making his debut for India, Will Pucovski has received his Baggy Green.

 

Preview

Having touched nadir and zenith in a span of 10 days, Ajinkya Rahane's India will look to start afresh against Australia with the big-hitting Rohit Sharma's presence adding a new dimension to what promises to be an enthralling third Test starting here on Thursday.

The Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), despite being witness to some extraordinary batting performances from the touring Indian sides over the years, has not exactly been a happy hunting ground with six defeats. The lone win came a good 42 years back.

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The importance of Rohit

And in this backdrop, there will be the entry of Rohit Sharma. He missed the initial part of the tour due to a hamstring injury during the Indian Premier League.

The white-ball legend has learnt the art of being unfazed, which was evident from his intense net session on Tuesday when he was comfortably facing the first team bowlers like Ravichandran Ashwin.

Sydney Test: Australia will have plans set for world-class Rohit, says Lyon  

His presence has added spring in the strides of the team and the youngsters in this current set-up swear by him, the reason he replaced Cheteshwar Pujara as vice-captain after just one Test.

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The Sydney track has traditionally favoured the batsmen as Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri, Sachin Tendulkar and even Pujara and Rishabh Pant, who got centuries here during the last tour, will vouch for.

Squads:

Australia: David Warner, Matthew Wade, Will Pucovski, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Tim Paine (captain and wk), Nathan Lyon, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazzlewood, Marcus Harris, Mitchell Swepson, Michael Neser

India (XI): Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini.

Match Starts at 5 am.