Rediff.com  » Cricket » PICS: Australia vs India Second Test, Day 2

PICS: Australia vs India Second Test, Day 2

Last updated on: December 27, 2020 13:10 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

Images from Day 2 of the second Test between Australia and India, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, on Saturday. 

India stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane celebrates after completing his century as Ravindra Jadeja applauds during Day 2 of the second Test against Australia, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, on Sunday.

IMAGE: India stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane celebrates after completing his century, as Ravindra Jadeja applauds, during Day 2 of the second Test against Australia, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, on Sunday. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Ajinkya Rahane played a captain's knock with a workmanlike century that steered India into a dominant position and took the sting out of Australia's potent bowling attack in the second Test, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, on Sunday.

 

Trailing 0-1 in the four-match series, India ended the second day of the Test on 277 for 5, for a handy 82-run lead, after bowling out Australia for 195 on Day 1.

At stumps, which was called early owing to rain, Rahane was going strong on 104; giving him company was Ravindra Jadeja, on 40, the two having added what might prove to be a game-changing 104-run partnership for the sixth wicket.

Ravindra Jadeja bats on Day 2 of the second Test against Australia

IMAGE: Ravindra Jadeja scored a gutsy 40 to boost India's total. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

This was Rahane's 12th Test hundred and his second at the iconic venue, after a fine 147 during the 2014 tour.

A day after earning rich praise for his tactical acumen while marshalling the bowlers, Rahane shone bright with the bat and was spot on with his reading of match situations during his stay in the middle.

He received a ‘life’ when Steve Smith dropped him on 73 at second slip in Australia's first over with the second new ball, the unlucky bowler being Mitchell Starc, who was taken off the attack after just two overs with the shining red cherry.

Ajinkya Rahane

IMAGE: Ajinkya Rahane was more watchful than ever, but as the day progressed went on to play some sumptuous shots. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

That particular phase was crucial from the team's point of view, and by not losing a wicket to the second new ball, India ensured they finished the day ahead of Australia, in terms of runs as well as psychologically.

Rahane got another reprieve when substitute fielder Travis Head put one down after diving forward from gully, but that was after he had got to the three-figure mark.

To start with, Rahane was more watchful than ever, but as the day progressed went on to play some sumptuous shots; one of his day's best was a classic off-drive against Pat Cummins. 

Session 1

Australia pacer Pat Cummins celebrates taking the wicket of India opener Shubman Gill during Day 2 of the second Test, at Melbourne Cricket Ground, on Sunday.

IMAGE: Pat Cummins is congratulated by his Australia teammates after taking the wicket of India opener Shubman Gill. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

India lost two wickets in as many overs to the relentless Pat Cummins as Australia grabbed early honours.

Resuming on 36 for 1, India started cautiously before losing their overnight batsmen, debutant Shubman Gill and the seasoned Cheteshwar Pujara, in the space of 11 deliveries before reaching 90 for three at lunch.

Australia were all out for 195 in their first innings.

Tim Paine takes the catch to dismiss Cheteshwar Pujara.

IMAGE: Tim Paine takes the catch to dismiss Cheteshwar Pujara. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

At the break, captain Ajinkya Rahane was batting on 10. Giving him company was Hanuma Vihari, on 13.

India still trail Australia by 105 runs.

Pat Cummins celebrates after dismissing Cheteshwar Pujara.

IMAGE: Pat Cummins celebrates after dismissing Cheteshwar Pujara. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

The 21-year-old Gill impressed on his debut with a fluent 45 and played some fine shots during his 65-ball knock, while Pujara scored 17 from 70 deliveries.

The first to go was Gill, who perished when he edged Cummins for Tim Paine to take a regulation catch behind the stumps.

Australia were soon celebrating again as Cummins picked up the big wicket of Pujara after straightening him up with a brilliant delivery that angled in and moved just enough to induce an edge.

Hanuma Vihari bats during Day 2.

IMAGE: Hanuma Vihari bats during Day 2. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Paine, who lost a review after assuming that Gill had nicked the day's very first delivery, complemented his top fast bowler by completing a fine diving catch.

That brought Vihari to the crease and he got off the mark with a confident drive down the ground.

Vihari and Rahane negotiated the Australian fast bowlers thereafter to conclude an eventful first session.

With a bit of luck, India survived the first hour but the hosts came back after Cummins's perseverance paid off to take the second half of the opening session's play.

Australia's bowlers were superb, but they often bowled a tad short.

Session 2

India skipper Ajinkya Rahane celebrates his half-century on Day 2 of the second Test against Australia

IMAGE: India skipper Ajinkya Rahane celebrates his half-century. Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Captain Ajinkya Rahane led by example with a dogged half-century as India closed in on Australia's first-innings total of 195 all out in the second Test, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, on Sunday.

At tea on the second day of the Test, Rahane and Ravindra Jadeja were batting on 53 and 4 respectively, as the visitors reached 189 for 5.

Rishabh Pant (29) and Hanuma Vihari (21) fritted away good starts after doing all the hard work.

Vihari fell to off-spinner Nathan Lyon while trying to sweep him from outside off-stump after he had added 52 runs for the fourth wicket with his captain.

Mitchell Starc celebrates taking the wicket of Rishabh Pant

IMAGE: Mitchell Starc celebrates as Rishabh Pant reacts after being dismissed. Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

In came Pant and despite the constant scrutiny around him, the wicketkeeper-batsman showed no nerves and confidently went about playing his strokes.

If Rahane managed to blunt the opposition bowlers with his defensive approach before opening up, Pant's aggression forced Australia to change their attacking tactics.

Rahane's first real authoritative shot was a cracking pull off Josh Hazlewood and there was also a sumptuous off-drive for a four. Balls directed on Rahane's pads were comfortably whipped through the square-leg region and he was equally good while playing the drives and late cuts.

Ajinkya Rahane of India bats during Day 2

IMAGE: Ajinkya Rahane adopted a defensive approach before taking on Australia's bowlers. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

At the other end, Pant rocked back to cut Lyon to the cover boundary and in the over before that, he went on the backfoot and pulled Pat Cummins in front of square for a four and then collected another boundary through the gully region.

However, just when he was beginning to pose a threat to the hosts, Mitchell Starc found a thin edge off Pant to bring the match back on even keel.

It was Paine's 150th dismissal and wicket number 250 for Starc.

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

IPL 2022

IPL 2022