IND v AUS, 3rd Test Day 2, Review : Rahul, Vijay propel India to 120/1 after Australia score big

IND v AUS, 3rd Test Day 2, Review : Rahul, Vijay propel India to 120/1 after Australia score big

Lokesh Rahul
KL Rahul. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Australia consolidated their position of strength and riding on the back of twin centuries by Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell Australia was comfortably placed at 401/7 at lunch on Day 2. Beginning the day on 299/4, Australia batted superbly in the 1st hour and so and didn’t lose a single wicket.

Smith and Maxwell carried on from where they left on an opening day and smashed the Indian bowlers all around Ranchi to increase their 1st innings total. Maxwell reached his maiden century in the 98th over and his celebrations showed how much the century meant to him. It made him show the world that he belonged in the longest format.

After reaching his century Maxwell soon departed of the bowling of Ravindra Jadeja. It was a short of length delivery and Maxwell went for an attempted cut which took his outside edge and was safely pouched by Wriddhiman Saha behind the stumps. Matthew Wade joined Smith in the middle and started scoring runs freely.

Wade played some delightful shots en route to 37 of 50 balls before departing to Jadeja yet again. Yet again Wridhhiman Saha completed a brilliant catch. His innings was studded with four hits to the fence. Pat Cummins joined Smith and was castled by Jadeja immediately.

The Aussies eventually reached 401/7 when lunch was taken. Steve Smith crossed his 150 and is looking well set for a double. Jadeja has been the wrecker-in-chief with impressive figures of 4/106.

The duo of Smith and Steve O’Keefe made the Indian bowlers toil very hard for their wickets and shared a valuable 51 runs stand for the 8th wicket. O’Keefe struck five boundaries during his innings of 25 before falling to Umesh Yadav. It was a well directed short delivery from the paceman and O’Keefe guided it straight to Murali Vijay stationed in the fine leg region.

Nathan Lyon too fell prey to Ravindra Jadeja in quick succession. He got a steep bounce and Lyon failed to keep it down and gave a straightforward catch to Karun Nair at silly point. Jaddu inflicted a terrific run-out to send back Josh Hazlewood. Australia was eventually bowled out for 451 in 137.3 overs.

The Indian openers were unfazed by the Aussie pacers and were hardly troubled by any of them during their brief stay in the dying stages of the 2nd session. Rahul looked in ominous touch and struck a hat-trick of boundaries to take India’s score to 20/0 at tea on Day 2.

Team India registered an emphatic comeback in the final session of the day courtesy gritty innings from both openers Lokesh Rahul and Murali Vijay. Rahul scored his 4th half-century of the series but yet again failed to convert it into a big one. Vijay was pretty slow to start off scoring only 2 in his first 25 deliveries.

Rahul, on the other hand, was striking the ball pretty well and played some delightful shots which got the Indians off to a solid start. He looked calm and composed and reached his half-century with a four of Nathan Lyon in the 22nd over. He looked well set for much more but a terrific delivery from Pat Cummins cramped him for room and ended up gloving it straight to Matthew Wade behind the stumps.

Vijay also upped the ante and played some excellent shots. Cheteshwar Pujara who joined him in the middle at the fall of Rahul’s wicket looked in complete control and played out the remaining overs. India eventually finished at 120/1 in 40 overs with Vijay batting on 42 and Pujara on 10.

Brief Scores  

Australia 451 all-out in 137.3 overs (Steve Smith 178*, Glenn Maxwell 104, Ravindra Jadeja 5/124)

India 120/0 in 40 overs (KL Rahul 67, Murali Vijay 42*, Pat Cummins 1/22)

India trail by 331 runs