Fans savour Sydney Test in masks

An Indian fan in a mask watching play on the first day of the third cricket Test between Australia and India at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Thursday.

Australian authorities ruled that spectators must wear masks following a surge in new Covid-19 infections in Sydney and Melbourne.

Only 10,000 spectators were allowed into SCG on Thursday - about 25 per cent of capacity. The numbers will be the same for the remaining four days.

Officials had originally hoped that they would be allowed to accommodate at least 20,000 spectators at the SCG.

But the risk involved with supporters flocking to a major sporting event was laid bare on Wednesday when the Victoria government revealed that a man infected with Covid-19 attended day two of the second Test between Australia and India at Melbourne on Dec 26.

Will Pucovski scored a half century on debut to help Australia to 106 for two just after tea after rain washed out four hours of Thursday's play.

The 22-year-old rode his luck to score 62 after twice being dropped by Indian wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant and surviving a run-out scare. He fell leg-before to Indian debutant Navdeep Saini.

Marnus Labuschagne was unbeaten on 39 along with Steve Smith on one.

Australia captain Tim Paine won the toss and chose to bat. The home side lost opener David Warner for five after he edged a catch to Cheteshwar Pujara in the slips off a Mohammed Siraj delivery.

The series is well-poised at 1-1 after the first two Tests in Adelaide and Melbourne.

Reuters

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