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Monday, Feb 27th

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Australia captain Steve Smith has consolidated his position at the top of the ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen following his outstanding batting effort in the opening Test against India.

Smith scored 109 during Australia's second innings to help his team win by 333 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the four-match series. The 27-year-old right-hander reached a career-high 939 rating points which is the sixth best ever after Don Bradman (961), Len Hutton (945), Jack Hobbs and Ricky Ponting (both 942) and Peter May (941).

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Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar on Sunday backed the Indian team who were beaten by Australia by 333 runs in the first cricket Test of the four-match series at Pune. The 43-year-old batsman also said that one loss cannot decide the fate of the series and the Virat Kohli-led team will surely bounce back.

Australia ended India's 19-match record unbeaten streak after thrashing the hosts within three days of the match on Saturday.

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Australia have suffered a five-wicket loss to New Zealand in the opening match of the Rose Bowl Series at Eden Park today, despite a maiden One-Day International century from Beth Mooney.

Requiring 276 runs to claim victory, New Zealand openers Suzie Bates (55) and Rachel Priest (20) put on 58 runs before leg-spinner Amanda-Jade Wellington (2-51) combined with Nicole Bolton to remove the dangerous Priest.

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After the massive 333-run defeat to Australia within three days of the opening Test here, former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar on Saturday termed the Indian cricket team's approach as "careless".

Gavaskar also criticised the lack of fight by the Virat Kohli-led side, which could only master 105 and 107 in both their innings against the visitors' 260 and 285 at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune.

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Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who predicted a 4-0 verdict in favour of India in the run-up to the four-match Test rubber against Australia, on Saturday blamed the pitch for the home team's 333-run loss in the opening match at the Maharastra Cricket Association Stadium.

The Virat Kohli-led home side succumbed to their fourth biggest Test loss after Australian left-arm spinner Steve O'Keefe spun a web to take identical figures of 6/35 in both the innings and break the pre-series favourites India's backbone within just three days.

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Despite being rated lowly in the run-up to the first cricket Test against India, Australia skipper Steve Smith, whose defiant ton helped the visitors thrash the hosts by 333 runs and end their 19-match unbeaten run, is overwhelmed to register their first win in the sub-continent after a gap of 13 long years.

Rating his patient 109 off 202 balls in the second innings, on top of his 18 Test hundreds, Smith said getting a 1-0 lead in the four-Test series is something massive.

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After tasting his first loss as full-time India skipper, Virat Kohli on Saturday conceded that the 333-run loss to Australia in the first cricket Test is a big learning for him. Australia ended India's 19-match unbeaten streak after thrashing the hosts within three days to take a 1-0 lead in the four-match Test rubber.

"It's been a good run. Good to see the support. We got outplayed in this game. We got to take it on the chin, accept that they outplayed us," the 28-year-old said in the post-match presentation ceremony.

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