Steve Smith ton helps set huge target for India

IND vs AUS: Warm Pune to witness first phase of Clash of the Titans

He batted with his instinctively positive approach, coming out of the crease to the slow bowlers and and scoring freely on both sides of the wicket. India's abject surrender can be gauged by the fact that our batsmen played a mere 74 overs in two innings to score 212 runs. They have not lost a Test match since 2015, when they lost to Sri Lanka in Galle.

Australia have a golden chance to complete their first Test win in India since 2004 following an astonishing six-wicket haul from Steve O'Keefe in Pune.

O'Keefe had played four tests prior to his career-defining match, taking 14 wickets at 32.78. These are conditions which are supposed to be alien to the Aussies.

While there was an air of the same old, same old with the day one performance, this was not the embarrassing and shambolic display that has been associated with Australia's recent visits to this region of the world. We tried to show a bit of intent in the second innings but when you have a massive target (441), a bowler wouldn't mind conceding four fours and come back with a wicket. His magical spell helped Australia send 7 batsmen back to the pavilion in a matter of 11 runs which gave the Aussies a 155-run lead which turned out to be decisive in the first Test.

Steve O'Keefe thanked captain Steve Smith for retaining faith in him after recovering from what he called an "ordinary" start to return 12 wickets in Australia's thrashing of India in the first Test in Pune. Indian fielders will be getting that a lot after the first Test as they dropped a few many catches that proved lethal for India.

"Test cricket should last five days".

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At the post-match press conference Kohli said: "It's been a good run".

The formidable Indian batting also has Murali Vijay, K L Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, and Ajinkya Rahane, capable of piling up mountains of runs on their home soil.

Australia's Steve O'Keefe celebrates with team mates the wicket of India's Ravichandran Ashwin. "You can not play on such wickets where anyone runs in to bowl and takes wickets", Harbhajan was quoted as saying in Indian Express after the first Test finished in less than three days.

Australia have the strongest cricket system in the world that produces quality cricketers regularly.

The men from Down Under had lost nine consecutive Test matches in Asia before this match. But times have changed since the retirement of Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Adam Gilchrist. It may be recalled here that Steve Smith had earlier stated that this series would be a evenly contested and they had the intention of stopping India's current run of form. But Smith has an excellent record against India.

"I wouldn't say it was ideal but we did a lot of things right in this test match, that's for sure", Smith said. Smith scored 109 in the second attempt, which is now the highest individual score for Australia in Test cricket in India in second innings. One match was tied. They exploited it better than us. Smith held Australia together in their second essay, and paved way for a total which was beyond India.

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