Will Pucovski
Will Pucovski
@ICC - Twitter

India wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant dropped Will Pucovski twice as the opener rode his luck to score a half-century on debut and guide Australia to 93 for one at tea on a rain-marred opening day of the third Test here.

Pucovski was unbeaten on 54 and Marnus Labuschagne on 34 at the tea break after four hours of play was lost due to rain.

In between three reprieves, Pucovski played some impressive shots and also looked solid in defence after Mohammed Siraj sent back the returning David Warner early.

Introduced into the attack after 13 overs in India's first bowling change, senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin tempted Pucovski into a drive and the batsman only managed an edge after losing his balance, but Pant failed to hang on to the offering despite getting his gloves to it in the 22nd over.

Pant spilled one more chance and on that occasion the unlucky bowler was Siraj, whose fast and short delivery touched the batsman's gloves on his way to the keeper, who could not complete the task. Pant managed to take it on the second attempt, but the ball had hit the ground by then.

With luck on his side, Pucovski got to his fifty when he pulled another debutant, Navdeep Saini, through the wide mid-on region for a boundary.

Earlier, play resumed as the sun shone brightly after a four-hour rain interruption.

Groundsmen at the Sydney Cricket Ground worked relentlessly, including using a blower to go with the super-sopper, to get the surface ready for resumption at 3pm local time.

More than 30 overs had been lost a total of 57 overs are to be bowled in the day. Scheduled close of play has been extended to 6.30pm with extra 30 minutes permitted to ensure minimum overs.

This was after young pacer Siraj dismissed Warner to leave Australia at 21 for one before the inclement weather stopped play barely seven overs into the first day's action.

The home team had batted for only 7.1 overs when play was interrupted.

Siraj sent back Warner (5) when he had the seasoned opener caught behind by Cheteshwar Pujara at first slip in the fourth over, giving India their first breakthrough before the heavens opened up.

The players ran off the field as a shower arrived from nowhere, forcing the groundsmen to cover the pitch as well as the square.

Making a return after a long injury layoff, Warner showed intensity in the first few overs but got carried away as he chased a wide Siraj delivery.

On the other had, barring a couple of uncomfortable moments against the shorter balls, Pucovski looked solid in the middle after Australia won the toss and opted to bat in the penultimate match of the four-match series.

Rohit Sharma returned to the Indian playing XI in place of Mayank Agarwal, while Saini was handed a Test debut, replacing an injured Umesh Yadav.

Pucovski made his debut at the expense of an out of form Travis Head.

The series is tied at 1-1.

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