Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting has slammed sections of the SCG crowd for booing India skipper Virat Kohli when he walked out to bat on the opening day of the fourth and final Test on Thursday. Kohli was given a mixed reception when he came to bat after the fall of opener Mayank Agarwal with the Indians fans chanting his name, while some of Australia’s fans booing the star batsman. “If it was booing then it’s absolutely disgraceful,” Ponting said on Channel 7.
“I said that in the Perth Test as well. Show some respect.” Kohli has been on the receiving end of the Australian fans in all the three Tests and Ponting and Australian batsman Travis Head had expressed their disappointment.
The Indian skipper is no stranger to such strong reactions as he was also jeered by fans in the 2012 Sydney Test during his maiden tour of Australia. In fact, Kohli was fined 50 percent of his match fee for showing his middle finger at the crowed after he was heckled by the fans.
Cheteshwar Pujara came up with a typically gritty century as India posted 303/4 in their first innings at stumps on the opening day of the fourth cricket Test against Australia on Thursday. Pujara was batting on 130 when the umpires decided to call it a day. His 250-ball stay in the middle was studded with 16 hits to the fence. Hanuma Vihari was batting on 39 at the other end.
For Australia, Josh Hazlewood was the most successful bowler with figures of 2/51. Fellow pacer Mitchell Starc and off-spinner Nathan Lyon bagged a wicket each.India are 2-1 up in the four-Test series.
It was steady batting by Pujara and Mayank Agarwal which harassed the Australian bowlers and the duo were involved in a crucial 116-run partnership for the second wicket.
Opting to bat, the visitors dominated the first session of the day as Agarwal and Pujara added 59 runs for the second wicket after losing out-of-form Lokesh Rahul cheaply.
India received a jolt very early as pacer Josh Hazlewood drew first blood for Australia, dismissing Rahul in the very second over of the day. A good length delivery outside the off-stump got a thick outside edge from Rahul’s bat and went straight into the hands of Shaun Marsh at first slip with India’s score reading 10 runs.
However, Agarwal and Pujara then played sensibly to deny the hosts any further inroads and helped the visitors reach 69/1 when lunch was taken.
Pujara and Agarwal continued to play sensibly in the post-lunch session, taking their side past the 100-run mark in 30.1 overs. Off-spinner Nathyan Lyon gave the hosts some respite after breaking the well-settled partnership when he dismissed Agarwal on his individual score of 77 runs.