Match report: Ind vs Aus – 2nd Test, Day 2
Centurions Murali Vijay (129*) and Cheteshwar Pujara (162*) overhauled the Australian first innings total and put India firmly in the driver’s seat at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. Gradually building the tempo, they took India to a 74-run lead in the second Test of the four-match series at the end of the second day’s play. The duo patiently shaped the innings to take India to 311 for one when stumps were called.
Earlier, complemented by good fielding, the Australian bowling attack kept the Indian batsmen on a tight leash on the second morning. But the duo of Vijay and Pujara saw the session through, after losing just the one wicket in the morning. Scoring at less than two runs per over, they added 49 runs to take India to 54 for one at lunch. The Australian pacers hit the deck hard from the word go and were rewarded with the early wicket of Virender Sehwag. A Peter Siddle delivery took the edge of Sehwag’s bat as he was caught by Matthew Wade behind the stumps.
Pujara who got off the mark with a boundary after replacing Sehwag rallied on with Vijay. The duo remained focused and unfazed by the lack of runs as they settled in for a long haul. Having got a measure of the situation, the Indian batsmen looked to dominate after lunch. Capitalising on the solid platform that they had built, Vijay and Pujara added 106 runs in the second session while ensuring that India did not lose a wicket. They negotiated the bowlers with ease and dispatched the ball to the boundary more often in the post-noon session. James Pattinson was hit for three boundaries by Pujara early in the second session, stating the intent of the batters.
Vijay, who did not have a successful outing at his home ground in the first Test, got to his fifty by lofting Xavier Doherty for six over mid-off off, which also got India past the three-figure mark. Pujara who was inching towards his half-century at the other end soon got to the mark with a boundary off Glenn Maxwell that also brought up the 100 of the partnership. While Pujara inched ahead of the opener after getting past his fifty, both batsmen were unbeaten on 73 each with India 77 short of the Australian first innings score when tea was called.
The Indian batsmen scored at a quicker pace in the next session. Pujara was the dominant partner and inched towards his century, while Vijay played the supportive role. However, not to be left behind, Vijay dismissed Maxwell over the fence and then sent him to the boundary to get into the 90s. Meanwhile, Pujara reached his fourth Test century with two off the spinner later in the over.
As Australia struggled to contain the batsmen, runs flowed freely for India. Vijay hit Doherty to the boundary to get to his well-earned century and then sent the next delivery racing to the ropes to take India past Australia’s total.
With his bowlers being taken for runs, Clarke introduced David Warner into the attack, but Pujara smashed him for three fours in his first over to help claim 14 off it. The second new ball in the latter half of the final session didn’t help the visitors’ cause either as the Indian batters scored freely off it as well. Later, Pujara hooked Siddle with ease for a six to get to his 150. At close today, Vijay and Pujara had put up 294 runs.
At the end of Day 2: India 1st innings 311/1 in 93 overs (M Vijay 129*, C Pujara 162*)
At the end of Day 1: Australia 1st innings 237/9 decl. in 85 overs (M Clarke 95, M Wade 67, R Jadeja 3/33, B Kumar 3/53); India 1st innings 5/0 in 3 overs (M Vijay 0*, V Sehwag 4*)