Domain Tests v India

Resilience rises with Adelaide's mercury

Grueling conditions hit the players and tested the fitness levels on a scorching day one

Martin Smith, at the Adelaide Oval

06 December 2018, 08:42 PM

Cummins, Khawaja lead Aussie charge

Cheteshwar Pujara is confident he can overcome a hamstring problem and bat in India's second innings having saved his side from a nightmare start against Australia on a scorching Adelaide day.

Pujara's 123 lifted the tourists from 6-127 to a competitive total of 9-250 at stumps, his first Test hundred in Australia coming despite suffering a hamstring injury during his 246-ball innings.

Patient Pujara notches gritty century

Pujara was on 82 when he called for the physio in the final session and revealed after play that what appeared to be cramp was in fact a minor hamstring twinge.

"My leg got stuck into the pitch when I was trying to go for a second run," the 30-year-old said having batted for almost six hours in temperatures that hovered just below 40 degrees Celsius.

"I had a little pull in my hamstring but I'm going to consult with the physio now. Hopefully it's not too bad.

"It was tough considering the weather, it was quite hot. We're used to it in India, but it was still hot and humid."

Pickle juice was needed on day one // Getty
Pickle juice was needed on day one // Getty

India's teenage opener Prithvi Shaw is no certainty to be fit for the second Test having injured his ankle in Sydney last week and the tourists can ill afford another injury to a member of their top order.

The mercury is set to touch 38 degrees again on Friday, although cooler temperatures in the high 20s are forecast for the weekend ahead of a warm start to the second Test in Perth.

And given there are just three days between the end of the first Test and the start of the second, and with both teams having picked just four bowlers in their respective XIs, how quickly players recover from the testing conditions will be a determining factor early in the series.

The topsy-turvy opening day of the series, which Australia dominated before Pujara's defiance brought his side back into the match, left both sides happy with the scorecard at stumps.

"If you'd asked us at the start of the day, losing the toss and (having them) 9-250 at stumps, we'd bite your arm off," paceman Mitchell Starc said.

"It was hard work, but it's Test cricket. And the positive for us is we took nine wickets today and we've got two tail-enders in tomorrow. Hopefully we can come back in the morning having recovered really well and take that wicket early on and let our batters get to work."

Incredible effort caps Australia's day

Pujara, meanwhile, said spinner Ravichandran Ashwin should play a major role in Australia's fourth innings.

"I would say it is a decent total because there is enough turn (and) Ashwin will also come into play," he said.

"It is not an easy wicket to bat on … and I will share my experience of what line and length to bowl on this pitch."

India Tour of Australia 2018-19

Gillette T20s v India

First T20: Australia won by four runs (DLS method)

Second T20: No result

Third T20: India won by six wickets

Domain Tests v India

First Test: December 6-10, Adelaide Oval

Second Test: December 14-18, Perth Stadium

Third Test: December 26-30, MCG

Fourth Test: January 3-7, SCG

Gillette ODI Series v India

First ODI: January 12, SCG (D/N)

Second ODI: January 15, Adelaide Oval (D/N)

Third ODI: January 18, MCG (D/N)