04 January 2019

Pujara century but match hangs in the balance

Has Virat Kohli been overshadowed? Do we need to turn our attention to his fellow run-making machine and emerging cult hero Cheteshwar Pujara to suppress the tide of runs from our ever-emerging nemesis.

A sub-continental chant rang out around the boundary and the Sydney Members rose as one to celebrate Pujara's fluent style and gritty resolve, as he swiped Mitchell Starc to the boundary for four and a brilliant century, before finishing on an unbeaten 130, at the SCG.

A rousing Indian cheer and a collective Australian groan swept around the ground as Virat Kohli won yet another toss and sent his men in to bat on Day One of the fourth Test.

As has been the pattern, Kohli took his tally of toss wins to three-from-four this summer, and the stage was set for the Indians to repeat the first innings run dose metered out in Melbourne less than a week ago.

Not long after the popular corporate breakfasts began to wind up, and the shutters were lifted on the exciting new food, beverage and entertainment outlets dotted around the Trust precinct, a Members seating scramble signaled play was imminent.

Some early success for Hazlewood, claiming Rahul in his first over, and a clever Nathan Lyon wicket with Agarwal caught by Starc in the deep soon after lunch, left the big SCG crowd in a bouyant mood.

Virat Kohli's entrance was predictably boisterous and spurred a mid-afternoon awakening from the home town supporters, before the Indian skipper dispatched a worthy Hazlewood delivery beautifully to the boundary on his fourth ball faced. 

Kohli and Pujara began to build a solid partnership and as the match turned India's way, Josh Hazlewood moved a ball down leg side, glancing the glove, and from one skipper to another Kohli was out at the hands of Tim Paine behind the stumps. 

Mitchell Starc produced a searing bouncer just before drinks during the next session and dangerman Rahane was headed back to the pavilion courtesy of more quality Tim Paine glove work.

The thorn in Australia's side however has been Pujara and no doubt he would have been the main topic of conversation around the Australian dinner table.

The big Aussie pacemen will be refreshed and eager to snare early wickets on Day Two with a big Friday crowd expected as the match hangs in the balance.

Members gates open at 7am, the public entrances are accessible from 8.30am and there are plenty of early dining and coffee options available.

Leave the car at home, arrive early and grab your seat for a gripping day of Test match cricket at Australia's most historic ground - The SCG.