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Thick dark clouds loomed over The Gabba towards the second session on Day 2. As the players left the field for Tea, it started to pour down heavily. Even though it let up after an hour, a couple of inspections took place which thereby resulted in the play being abandoned on Day 2. India were on 62/2, trailing Australia by 307 runs on Day 2 of The Gabba Test.
Earlier, the Indian bowlers had toiled hard to break the overnight pair of Paine and Green. Both the batsmen came out with a positive mindset and dominated the large part of the first hour. India’s search for a breakthrough ended only when Paine had got to his fifty. Soon after his milestone, the Australian captain edged one to second slip where Rohit Sharma took another clean catch.
Once Shardul Thakur made that dent, India pounced on the opportunity. Washington Sundar struck from the other end and he cleaned up Green for 47. Having seen the back of overnight batsmen, Shardul struck again, trapping Pat Cummins in the front.
India picked three wickets for just four runs and looked to restrict the hosts under 350 but a late fightback from Lyon and Starc meant they reached the mark. The two put together a 39-run stand for the ninth wicket with Lyon making 24 and Starc contributing with an unbeaten 35-ball 20. Washington cleaned up Lyon to end the partnership and fellow debutant T Natarajan then dismissed Hazlewood for 11 to end Australia’s innings for 369. India picked up five remaining Australian wickets for 95 runs.
Washington, Natarajan and Thakur picked three wickets each while Siraj took one. Having hobbled off the field on Day 1 after complaining of pain in his groin, Navdeep Saini had bowled in the nets in the morning but did not take the field.
The Indian openers looked at ease in the second session, but both were back in the dugout towards the end of it. India added 62 runs having first loss Shubman Gill (7) and later Rohit Sharma on 47. It was Cummins, who got the first wicket when he drew Gill outside the off stump and the opener got an edge, which was pouched in the slips.
On the other hand, the Indian vice-captain looked in complete control against the pace and bounce the Gabba track had on offer. He hit some delightful shots and looked good for a big score before his decision to step out and hit Lyon proved costly. Just three short of his fifty, Rohit stepped out, looking to go over the top but ended up miscuing it. India went into Tea with 62/2 on the board, trailing Australia by 307 runs.
Brief scores – India 62/2 (Rohit Sharma 44, Pujara 8*, Ajinkya 2*), trail Australia by 307 runs ( Marnus Labuschagne 108, Tim Paine 50 ; Natarajan 3/78, Shardul 3/94, Washington 3/89)