It was an action-packed day at the Perth Stadium on Day 4 of the second Test, with the hosts gaining advantage after reducing the Indians to 112 for 5, as they look to chase 287 for a win.
Nathan Lyon and Josh Hazlewood were the wreckers-in-chief, taking 2 wickets each to leave India tottering.
In the morning session, Usman Khawaja and Tim Paine played out a wicketless session, scoring at a snail’s pace to further increase the advantage for Australia. They wore out the Indian quicks, offering no bat to everything that came their way.
The Indian seamers on the other hand, were accurate and kept things tight by bowling strict lines. All three bowlers, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma and Mohammad Shami, troubled the batsmen, and by the lunch break, the pitch started showing signs of wear and tear. While some balls jumped off to surprise the batsmen, some surprisingly kept very low.
— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) December 17, 2018
If the first session offered nothing to the bowlers, the second opened up the game s eight wickets fell in the session. Shami was on fire, getting Tim Paine, Aaron Finch – who came on to bat after going for an X-ray scan on his finger yesterday – and Khawaja in quick succession and with Bumrah getting into the game as well, the Aussies collapsed from 192 for 4 to 207 for 9.
But as has been the case for India, they were unable to dismiss the last pair quickly, and the duo of Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc swung their bat around at everything that came their way. Their 36-run stand might prove to be crucial in the end.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 17, 2018
The Indian innings began on an abysmal note, as KL Rahul was sent back in the very first over. Kohli and Murali Vijay then settled the nerves by standing tall for a 35-run stand, but Lyon got into the picture straight away, first outfoxing Kohli with a plan and then sending back Vijay too.
Hanuma Vihari, who has looked organized in the match thus far, and Ajinkya Rahane got together to add 43 runs and just when it looked like the team would go to stumps without further damage, the latter played a loose shot off a nothing ball.
Vihari and Rishabh Pant did well to evade further loss of wickets, but seeing how Pant barely survived after flashing at everything that came his way, it is for certain that the Indians will have to bat out of their skins to make 175 runs tomorrow on a day when Lyon is sure to be a crucial player.
Brief scores: Australia 326 & 243 (Usman Khawaja 72, Mohammed Shami 6/56) lead India 283 & 112/5 (Ajinkya Rahane 30, Josh Hazlewood 2-24, Nathan Lyon 2-30) by 175 runs.