Cheteshwar Pujara century makes Australia toil against India at MCG

   India's Jasprit Bumrah is congratulated by skipper Virat Kohli after skittling the Aussies

ASANKA BRENDON RATNAYAKE AP India's Jasprit Bumrah is congratulated by skipper Virat Kohli after skittling the Aussies

Day 3, report: Cheteshwar Pujara's century formed the backbone of a dominant Indian batting display before Australia's openers survived a few nervous overs as the home side reached eight without loss at the end of a scorching day two in the third test on Thursday.

The pressure was on openers Marcus Harris and Aaron Finch but Australia made it to the close of play on 8-0.

Pujara's hundred was his fourth against Australia in Tests, with the 30-year-old previously having scored double hundreds against the Baggy Greens in Hyderabad in 2013 and Ranchi in 2017 and then 123 in the first Test of this series in Adelaide earlier this month.

India's massive total was powered by a classic century from Cheteshwar Pujara (106) and half centuries from skipper Virat Kohli (82), debutant opener Mayank Agarwal (76) and Rohit Sharma (63 not out).

Can Australia's middle-order dig in and salvage something from this match, or will India continue to boss the contest?

India 57-1 at lunch as MCG pitch under scrutiny

Rohit Sharma finished 63 not out, but was given a life on 15 when substitute fielder Peter Siddle - only on the field for one over - dropped a sitter.

Rahane was almost out off the next ball with a bat-pad catch just eluding a fielder in close.

Australia's hopes of tearing into the tail were held up as Rishabh Pant was reprieved on 15 when he tried to smash Lyon over mid-on, with Cummins grassing a low chance.

Earlier, pace spearhead Mitchell Starc denied Kohli a second century of the series when he had him caught ramping to third man before Pat Cummins bowled Pujara for 106, after the watchful batsman registered his 17th test ton.

India started the second day of the third Test on 215 for two and looking to hammer home their fine start with Pujara and Kohli well set on 68 and 47 respectively.

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