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India vs Australia, 2nd Test, Day 2: Kohli, Rahane keep India steady

Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane fought bravely for India

Perth, December 15: India started the second day of the second Test against Australia with their backs pinned to the wall and ended it with their noses ahead at the Optus Stadium here on Saturday (December 15). It was that kind of day of tight, old-fashioned Test cricket.

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Through the grind of their skipper Virat Kohli and his deputy Ajinkya Rahane, India finished the day at 172 for three, 154 adrift of Australia's 326. Here's MyKhel's analyse of Day 2 of this India vs Australia Test.

1. Kohli, Rahane fight

1. Kohli, Rahane fight

They came together when India were at a rather uneasy 82 for three and another wicket or two could have opened up the long tail India have for this Test - imagine Ishant Sharma walking out to bat at No 8. But Kohli and Rahane did not flinch. They gritted out in the middle against relentless Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon. Kohli cracked three boundaries in the 10th over bowled by Josh Hazlewood and the had to wait till the 32nd over to find the next four, such was the accuracy of Australian bowlers. Such passages often can lead to frustration and eventually to a loose shot, but Kohli and Rahane, who started quickly off the block, were more serene than a yogi. They went through the rigour and asserted themselves when the Aussie bowlers began to jade in the final hour or so. Their unbeaten 90 runs alliance for the fourth wicket had bit of everything - resistance, dominance and panache. It has given India the hope of coming closer to Australia's total on the morrow.

2. Quick work with the tail

2. Quick work with the tail

Australia started the day at 277 for six and with a chance to extend the total, considering the Aussie late order batsmen are no muppets with the bat. Tim Paine and Pat Cummins looked set for the task when they stretched their overnight alliance of 40 to 59 this morning. Umesh Yadav produced that breakthrough moment when he hit the top of Cummins' off-stump with ripper of a delivery. Paine too departed at the same score, got trapped leg before by Jasprit Bumrah. Eventually, Ishant brought curtains to the innings when he jettisoned Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood in successive balls. But 326 still was a competitive total on this pitch.

3. Rahul, Vijay disappoint; Pujara grits it out

3. Rahul, Vijay disappoint; Pujara grits it out

India got off to the worst possible start. First Starc bowled an absolute beauty to find gap between Vijay's bat and pad to disturb his stumps and Rahul played all over a yorker from Hazlewood to get castled. At 8/2, India were in massive trouble and it can be assumed that Prithvi Shaw will walk in to open in the third Test at Melbourne if he is fit. But Pujara in the company of Kohli absorbed a lot of pressure (24 off 103 balls) and denied Australia the advantage of taking another wicket upfront. It was as important as an innings as any in this Test match.

4. What to expect on Sunday

4. What to expect on Sunday

India are still 154 runs behind Australia and the visitors would like to close the gap without losing too many wickets before trying to move ahead of Australia as far as possible. The pitch on this day did not throw up too many wicked moments and Indian batsmen used it to optimum. But it's unsure how the 22-yard will behave on Sunday, hence India would like to stay close to Australia. On their part, the Aussies would be aiming to break the alliance between Kohli and Rahane at the earliest and then have a crack at the middle and late order and secure a handy first innings lead. But whatever the case may be, cricket will be gripping.

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    Story first published: Saturday, December 15, 2018, 17:27 [IST]
    Other articles published on Dec 15, 2018
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