INDIA: In a day of absorbing cricket, Australia took the upper hand in the second innings shootout of the Delhi Test against India.
India vs Australia
An exceptional performance led the visitors from off-spinner Nathan Lyon, who took four wickets in a devastating spell in the morning. India was left reeling at 66/4, but a rear-guard comeback led by Axar Patel and R. Ashwin allowed them to come back into the match.
At stumps on day two of the second Test match, Australia led by 62 runs after some late-evening batting enterprise from Travis Head. He was promoted to open in the absence of a concussed David Warner and raced away to a brisk 39 runs off 40 balls, hitting five fours and a six.
Usman Khawaja fell to Ravindra Jadeja, but Marnus Labuschagne kept up the scoring rate with some aggressive strokeplay. Lyon’s devastating spell of 9-1-21-4 had left India uncertain of their ability to chase down Australia’s first-innings score of 263.
The off-spinner had the Indian batters struggling with his round-the-wicket approach, with their bat-and-pad-together style of play being put to the Test. Lyon’s spell was only blemished by some questionable reviews from Australia, who burnt all three of their DRS reviews.
India captain Virat Kohli produced a mini-classic in his knock of 44, which proved to be a masterclass on countering the surface. However, his dismissal to debutant Matthew Kuhnemann was contentious, with replays being inconclusive in determining if the ball made contact with the bat or pad first.
Lyon took his 22nd five-wicket haul in Tests, becoming only the third man to take 100 wickets in Test matches against India, behind M. Muralitharan and James Anderson. However, India’s batting depth again came to the fore, with Patel and Ashwin demonstrating why they are such a formidable force in these conditions.
Patel took on the debutant left-arm spinner Kuhnemann and smashed him for a six and a pair of fours, while Ashwin handled the off-spinners expertly. The pair stitched together the first hundred-run partnership of the series, meaning that when the second new ball was made available, India was in arrears by only 11 runs.
However, any hopes of India sneaking a healthy lead were snuffed out by Australia. The visitors dismissed Ashwin on 37, with Matt Renshaw taking a sharp catch before Pat Cummins held on to a stunning catch at mid-on to end Patel’s valiant innings at 74.
Indian inning eventually fell one run short of Australia’s total. The third day of the Test promises a thrilling battle for supremacy, with Australia leading by 62 runs with nine wickets in hand.
India will be looking to take quick wickets, while Australia will aim to build on their lead and set a challenging target for the hosts. The match is finely poised, and cricket fans can expect another absorbing day of Test cricket.
Also Read: India Becomes the No. 1 Ranked Team Across All Formats