The second day of the fourth Test between India and Australia was dominated by the visitors as they racked up a mammoth total of 622 for the loss of seven wickets before declaring. The hosts now face a monumental task of closing in on the Indian total to keep themselves in the match.
The Men in Blue rewrote history books on the second day at Sydney by posting their second highest score in an innings down under. Cheteshwar Pujara continued his fine form against the Australian bowlers as he surpassed the 150-mark only to fall seven runs short of his fourth double ton. Youngster Rishabh Pant took to the crease after the dismissal of Hanuma Vihari and became the first Indian wicketkeeper to score a Test century in Australia, a feat that he accomplished in a mere 137 balls. Pant came on when the visitors were 329 for 5 and shared an 89-run partnership with Pujara. Post the dismissal of Pujara at 193, the wicketkeeper batsman shared a 200-run plus partnership with Ravindra Jadeja and took the visitors past 600. Virat Kohli declared the innings on 622 and forced the hosts to bat in the last moments of the day.
The Australian bowlers were left frustrated and helpless by the dominance of the Indian batsmen with only Nathan Lyon picking up four wickets after giving away 178 runs in 58 overs. None of the Australian pacers could manage a wicket on the second day which clearly speaks volumes about the dominance of the tourists. Openers Marcus Harris and Usman Khawaja faced a nervous 10 overs in the last session of the day and ensured that the hosts move into the third day without losing any wickets. Here’s what you can expect from Day 3 at the SCG.
Australian batsmen to bat through the day
India’s batting dominance on the first two days of the Test will give the Aussie openers a sense of belief to stay and enjoy their time in the middle. In-form batsman Travis Head and skipper TIm Paine will be crucial in shaping the Australian innings and with the inclusion of Marnus Labuschagne in the middle order, the Kangaroos will be aiming to inch closer to the huge total posted by the Indians.
Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja to strike
Kuldeep Yadav’s spell in the last session of the day saw the red ball skidding off the surface and troubling the Aussie openers. Kohli will use his lethal spin duo of Yadav and Jadeja early on in the third day to exploit the pitch conditions and dismantle the Australian batting lineup as quickly as possible.
Last session will pave the way for a result
The match now has two possible results: an Indian victory or an unlikely draw if the hosts are still at the crease in the last session of the third day. Any possibility of an Australian victory is slim and only possible if India let their guard down in an incomprehensible manner. The hosts, however, will look to avoid the follow on and reduce the chances of an Indian victory.
Words: Ritvik Mawkin