Indian batsmen lord it over Australia!
Galatta | Dec 27, 2020, 03:00 pm
After a massive drubbing was handed out to India by the Australian bowlers, the Indian batsmen were left demoralised. With the regular Indian captain - Virat Kohli also leaving for India on Paternity Leave, the Indian batting looked to be in shambles. The top order was unsettled, with Mayank Agarwal not being in the best of touches and his opening partner not being fixed as yet, after Prithvi Shaw failed in both innings of the first Test. Rohit Sharma is expected to play in the 3rd Test but the batting for the 2nd Test looked weak with not much experience in the ranks, except for Pujara and Rahane. The bowlers put up a stellar performance and bundled out the Australians for just 195 in the first innings, after the Baggy Greens won the toss and chose to bat!
India had to bat out one tricky over on Day 1 and ended it on the all too familiar 36 runs but this time, for the loss of just 1 Wicket. Debutante Shubman Gill and the rock-solid Pujara, guided India to stumps on Day 1. Today (Day 2), India began bright and strong with 163 more runs needed to erase the deficit. Cummins took out Gill for 45, to a very good catch by Paine. Then, Cummins returned to almost immediately take out Pujara, for 17 off 70 balls! The young Vihari failed to make much of an impact and was taken out by Lyon for just 21! The dashing Pant came in next and showed off some fluent strokeplay but fell for 29 off 40 balls. Pant became the 5th Wicket to fall, with the Indians still being in deficit of 12 runs!
Jadeja joined his stand-in captain for this game - Ajinkya Rahane at the crease. Rahane was fluent right from the start and was standing tall at the end of the day, with Jadeja for company! Jadeja, who has been improving with the bat over the past few years, provided his Captain very good company and the duo alleviated all fears of a batting collapse and put India in a very dominant position at the end of Day 2. Rahane, who cruised to a century along the way, became only the 5th Indian captain to score a century in Australia and the first in this century at the MCG, for the last century by an Indian captain at the MCG was by Sachin Tendulkar, way back in 1999! Rahane and Jadeja have forged a century partnership with Jaddu on the cusp of a half-century and India are having a lead of 82 runs. With 5 more Wickets in hand, the Indians have a very good chance to post a total in excess of 400 and leave the Australians chasing in excess of 200 plus, to avoid an innings defeat. Stay tuned for updates...