After opting to bat, India suffered a blow in the second over when KL Rahul, who came into the side in place of Rohit Sharma, lost his wicket for nine runs to Josh Hazlewood. However, Cheteshwar Pujara and Mayank Agarwal established 116-run partnership stand to build a strong foundation for India.
Mayank looked delightful with his front-foot punches through cover. He was outwitted by Nathan Lyon on 77. Having hit the off-spinner for a six straight down the ground, Agarwal attempted another big hit in the over and perished to Lyon’s bounce, holing out at long-on.
Following his departure, Pujara shared a 54-run stand with captain Virat Kohli and a 48-run stand with vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane. Post tea, Australia were able to make a quick breakthrough as Virat Kohli was caught down leg. Mitchell Starc then had Rahane caught behind in the 71st over with a sharp-rising unplayable bouncer.
India crossed 200 in the 63rd over, but needed a partnership at this juncture. Vihari proved to be a handy partner for Pujara as the duo put on 50 runs in 72 balls. Vihari kept the scoreboard ticking with minimum fuss, batting at a strike-rate of 67.2. He took pressure off Pujara at the other end, who was solid as ever, and celebrated his 18th Test hundred off 199 balls.
At the Sydney Cricket Ground, Pujara faced 250 balls, hitting 16 of them for fours, and added 75 runs for the unbeaten fifth wicket stand with Vihari.
At stumps, Pujara was batting on 130 and Hanuma Vihari was unbeaten at 39 and were holding fort for the visiting side, which is in pursuit of a maiden Test series triumph on Australian soil.