INDIA: Australia’s batters put 263 runs on the scoreboard in their first innings of the second Test match against India. Pat Cummins won the toss and opted to bat first.
India vs Australia
Usman Khawaja scored 81 runs, while Peter Handscomb contributed an unbeaten 72 as the visitors displayed their prowess against India’s spin attack.
However, Australia’s openers struggled to find their rhythm against India’s seamers. Warner was troubled by Mohammed Siraj, who produced an excellent six-over spell, while Khawaja got off to a brisk start. The visitors lost their first wicket when Shami put Warner out of his misery.
Marnus Labuschagne joined Khawaja, and the two combined for a counter-attack against India’s spinners. Khawaja played both the conventional and reverse sweeps against Ashwin and mixed those up by stepping out and lofting the offspinner over long-off for a six.
The wily spinner, Ashwin, eventually got Labuschagne out before lunch with an off-break that spun past his defence. Before lunch, the hosts almost had Khawaja, too, when he missed a flick against Ravindra Jadeja, but an intelligent review saved him.
Australia continued to score at a good pace, with Handscomb and Khawaja joining forces to keep India at bay. Handscomb was very assured with his technique and, against a softened ball, was happy to stay back and play off the back foot.
Eventually, a moment of fielding brilliance brought the hosts respite, with Khawaja falling for 81 to Jadeja.
The hosts then added another wicket when Alex Carey edged Ashwin to slip. At 168/6, there were fears of the lower-order caving once more to a sub-200 total, but Pat Cummins and Handscomb allayed those fears with another half-century stand.
The right-handed Handscomb, who last scored a Test match half-century in 2017, was reprieved right at the end when Jadeja overstepped and remained unbeaten on 72.
India faced a tricky nine-over period before the close of play. Still, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul saw it through, despite a couple of nervy moments against debutant left-arm spinner Matthew Kuhnemann.
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