Rain saves India on Day 2 of final Test against Australia!
By MKV | Galatta | Jan 16, 2021, 03:01 pm
A totally depleted India side took the field against Australia in the fourth and final Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, at the Gabba, in Adelaide! Having lost a number of first-choice players to injury, India had handed Test debuts to limited overs specialists T Natarajan and Washington Sundar. Unfortunately for India, they even lost Navdeep Saini to a groin injury, during the course of Day 1 of the match but with their debutants pitching in and some middling batting by the Australians, despite Marnus Labuschagne's century, saw the honours being shared, with Australia going to Stumps at 274/5! They began Day 2 with Cameron Green and Tim Paine at the crease and India having the second new ball, which had just been used for 6 overs, the previous day! However, the Aussie batsmen weren't troubled much by India's inexperienced bowling attack and the batting pair moved their partnership from the overnight score of 61 to 98 very easily.
As soon as Tim Paine reached his half-century, he played a loose shot and this was the breakthrough that India needed. The Indian bowlers went for the kill and wrapped up the last 5 Wickets of the Australian innings allowing them to add just 95 to their overnight score, to finish their innings on 369! The Indian batsmen had a mammoth task ahead of them but the openers seemed unpeturbed for the better part of the first 6 overs and had put up a solid start. However, as soon as Pat Cummins came on to bowl, he had Shubman Gill edging to second slip off his very second ball. An unfazed Rohit Sharma seemed to be setting up for a huge innings and was unfurling stroke after stroke, making the pitch seem extremely docile. With nothing going the way of the Australian fast bowlers, Sharma had already raced to 40. Paine brought back Nathan Lyon into the attack and Sharma despatched him for a nonchalant boundary. As has been the case in Rohit Sharma's Test career, he wasted another opportunity to build on and play a huge innings, by stepping out to Lyon and lofting a simple catch.
The stand-in Indian Captain Ajinkya Rahane walked out to join Pujara in the middle and it became to responsibility of India's most experienced pair to ensure India didn't end up with another batting collapse. A sedate Pujara and resolute Rahane were at the crease, when the infamous Gabba storms of yore decided to make a visit. A short but sharp spell of rain stopped play for quite some time, before th rain clouds moved away. The quick drainage facility at the Gabba kept the match officials and spectators teasing, with prospects of play resuming but after repeated inspections, the umpires did not think that the outfield had drained much to allow play to resume today. Tim Paine seemed to not be happy with this decision as he would have surely liked to unleash his fast bowlers on the Indian batsmen for a short duration of an hour, with fading light and overcast conditions. Thankfully for India, their batsmen didn’t have to face any pacers in these conditions and can resume their batting tomorrow. India ended Day 2 of this Test on 62/2 and would be looking at their batsmen to ensure that they back their bowling and not capitulate. Even a draw in this Test would ensure that India retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Stay tuned for updates...