HIGHLIGHTS


⚬ India resumed their innings at 303 for 4


⚬ Pujara was dismissed for 193 but Pant carried on to remain unbeaten on 159 as India piled on 622/7d.


⚬ Australia faced some scares but are batting on 24 for no loss at the end of Day 2.


India are well on course for a series win in Australia after a splendid day of cricket on Day 2 at the Sydney Cricket Ground against Australia. No team has lost a game at the SCG after piling on 596 runs or more, and with India declaring their innings at 622 for 7, their seems a high possibility that they have batted Australia out of the game and well, the series. The star-performers on the day were Rishabh Pant, who was unbeaten on 159, and Cheteshwar Pujara, who missed his double hundred by just 7 runs.

 

It was a historical day on many fronts as the India squad raked up their first 500+ total in any SENA country in over a decade. It was also India’s second-highest total Down Under and as Nathan Lyon bowled 57.2 overs – the most that he has ever bowled in an innings – the pressure on the home side could be felt.

With the Border-Gavaskar Trophy already in their kitty, the Indians began the day playing fearless cricket as Pujara negotiated the morning session with ease. India lost just one wicket by Lunch on Day 2 wherein they added 86 runs, and this patience paid fruit as Rishabh Pant, later on, made full use of the side’s comfortable position to play audaciously. After Hanuma Vihari was dismissed with the scorecard reading 329 for 5, Pant combined with Ravindra Jadeja to ensure India reached a safe total.

The afternoon session began with Pujara going back caught and bowled to Lyon. However, Jadeja and Pant ensured their were no further casualties and as the most punishing period of the game started, once could sense the pressure on the home side.

All of Australia’s four main bowlers conceded more than 100 runs, with Pat Cummins going wicketless, as Pant and Jadeja piled on 204 runs for the seventh wicket, the highest seventh-wicket stand that India have piled on in Australia. Pant became the second-youngest centurion to score a hundred in Australia, behind only Tendulkar, while Jadeja cracked 81 off 114 deliveries, with his dismissal bringing in the declaration.

Though Virat Kohli might have been tempted to allow Pant, who was on fire, the chance to get to his maiden 200, the declaration was brought about with the aim of scalping a few wickets in the 10 overs that Australia were to bat in the fag end of the day, which would intensify the pressure on the home side further.

His wishes were almost answered as India got a chance to grab Khawaja in the second over, as he edged one off Mohammad Shami to Pant, who missed the catch.

However, the day belonged to Pujara and Pant who broke a plethora of records. The former batted for more than 1257 deliveries in the ongoing Test series – the most by any visiting cricketer in Australia. He also became the ninth India to score 150 Down Under and only the second from India to bring up 150 while batting at number 3. Pant also became only the fourth Indian keeper to achieve the 150-run feat in Tests.

The game is well and truly in favour of the Indians and despite it being a flat track, it should not be surprising if India have the upper hand on Day 3 as well.

Brief Scores: India 622/7 dec (Pujara 193, Pant 159*, Jadeja 81, Agarwal 77) lead Australia (Harris 19*, Khawaja 5*) by 598 runs

 

 

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