Pujara 181 not out, India cruise to 5-389


At the other end chirpy wicketkeeper-batsman Pant plundered only his second Test century as he piled more pressure on a wilting Australian attack.

The series against India begins at the SCG on January 12 with matches in Adelaide and Melbourne to follow.

Australia survived a 10-over burst to reach 0-24 at stumps, thanks partly to a dropped catch from Pant that handed Usman Khawaja a life on zero, but their hopes of avoiding a maiden home series loss to India are in tatters.

IRREPRESSIBLE Cheteshwar Pujara stroked his third century of the summer on Thursday to put India in a commanding position in the decisive fourth and final Test on Thursday as they strive for an historic series win in Australia. Firstly, he went past 153, his previous highest overseas Test score, against both South Africa (Johannesburg, 2013) and Sri Lanka (Galle, 2017).

India captain Virat Kohli declared at the fall of Jadeja's wicket for 81, bowled by Lyon in the 168th over, which ended a 204-run partnership with Pant, who finished 159 not out.

"When you're looking towards a World Cup - he's certainly re-invented himself in the T20 format but for one day format, I'm just interested in that one".

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Pujara's 150, his seventh in 68 tests, came off 282 balls with 18 boundaries and the 30-year-old will now set his sights on his fourth double hundred and high score of 206 not out in the afternoon session.

"Every hundred which is scored in global level is special for me because I have just started my career", Pant said.

Addressing officials, the teams and their families, Kohli said the event was an honour to attend and commended his side's achievement of winning the series in Australia.

He worked hard to make his second Test 50 in only three innings by caressing a Mitchell Starc delivery through the covers for four. India resumed batting from their overnight score of 303 for 4 and went on piling on the runs.

Josh Hazlewood (2-105) claimed two wickets, including the prized wicket of Kohli for 23 and opener Lokesh Rahul for nine.