After a gruelling first session, Indian batsmen lead by their captain dominated the proceedings as they went past the Australian total. At the end of second day’s play India were 82 runs ahead with 5 wickets intact. Indian batsmen were quite patient as the overcast conditions and disciplined bowling ensured that runs were tough to come by initially. However with a little luck on their side and a lot of self determination, Indian batters forged a few good partnerships to give India the lead.
Australia start the day with wickets
At the start of the day, the new ball and the overcast conditions aided Australians pacers. There was an appeal for caught behind on the very first ball, however it went in Pujara’s favour. Gill got a reprieve as he was cut in half by a Hazlewood’s delivery but Paine could not latch on to the inside edge. However he made up for it by a screamer to send back Pujara as he took a low diving catch off Cummins. Cummins also drew Gill for a drive only to edge it behind. At 64/3 India looked in trouble but Rahane and Vihari provided some respite and didn’t let any further fall of wickets till lunch break.
Indian batsmen dominate
Rahane and Vihari had 52 run stand, but post lunch Lyon provided the breakthrough. Vihari, who looked good for his 66-ball 21, gloved a Lyon off spinner trying to sweep him. The flamboyant left hander Pant was next to join Rahane in the middle. His aggressive approach provided the much needed momentum to the Indian innings. The fifty runs partnership for the fifth wicket came in just 73 balls. This also helped Rahane to come out of his shell and score a few boundaries. Pant was dropped at gully by Green off Cummins at 27. However Pant could not utilize this opportunity and two runs later was caught behind off Starc trying to cut his short delivery.
Jadeja who has recently shown some great form with bat, was next to join Rahane. Together they batted sensibly and took India’s score past the Australian total of 195. With a flick to fine leg off Starc’s full toss Rahane brought up his fifty. After the second new ball was taken, runs began to flow more freely. Rahane was dropped by Smith in second slip off Starc, however this did not stop Rahane from playing his shots.
Rahane was initially quite watchful in his approach as he didn’t attempt any expansive shots. He played safe shots like check drives and controlled pulls and ran well between the wickets. However the later part of his innings had the typical Rahane flair with proper drives and cut shots. With a four off Cummins, cut through point region, Rahane got to his twelfth Test ton. Jadeja, from the other end, provided great support as the duo brought 100 runs of their partnership as well. Slight drizzle forced an early end of play with India very much in the driver’s seat.