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4th Test, Highlights: Masterful Pujara, counter-attacking Pant-Jadeja grind Australia on Day 2

4th Test, Highlights: Masterful Pujara, counter-attacking Pant-Jadeja grind Australia on Day 2

Sydney, Jan 4: Team India completely dominated the second day of the fourth and final Test against Australia to ensure they will seal the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2-1. Batting first, India frustrated the Australia bowlers all through the day before declaring innings at 622/7 in 167.2 overs.

In response, Australia 24/0 at stumps with Marcus Harris (19*) and Usman Khawaja (5*) surviving the day. The hosts still trail the visitors by 598 runs and have a mountain to climb on day three.

Day 2: As it happened

Here are the highlights from Day 2:

1
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1st session:

At lunch India were 389/5 and dominated yet another session with their calm and composed batting effort. The overnight batting pair of Cheteshwar Pujara and Hanuma Vihari started proceedings in their own way as opposition captain Tim Paine started with Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins.

The Indians denied the Aussies any success early on, forcing Paine to introduce Nathan Lyon in the tenth over of the day's play. Lyon got the wicket of Vihari (42) and broke the 101-run partnership.

Vihari, however, was unlucky to be given caught behind while attempting a sweep shot against the spinner. The right-handed batsman went upstairs' immediately to review against the umpire's decision but was ruled out in a controversial fashion as the snicko-meter didn't provide a piece of conclusive evidence if there was any contact between bat and ball.

Rishabh Pant was the new man in and the southpaw - who had scores of 30+ on this tour - remained unbeaten at 27 with Pujara rock solid on 181* at the other end. Together they had forged a partnership of 60 off 90 deliveries before the lunch break.

2nd session:

India dominated the second session they stood at 491/6 in 146 overs at tea break with Rishabh Pant (88*) and Ravindra Jadeja (25*) present into the middle. The tourists piled up 102 runs from 29 overs bowled in the second session and lost the key wicket of Cheteshwar Pujara on 193.

Pujara departs after a masterful 193

The second session started in a similar fashion for the Aussies as both Pujara and Pant showed patience and resistance. However, Pant survived a run-out chance while batting on 34 and Pujara was dropped on 192 at slip to get a reprieve each.

However, Pujara's marathon innings came to an end as he was caught and bowled by Lyon for 193 (343 balls) and missed out on his maiden 200 outside Asia. This was his first dismissal in 190s after notching up 12 first class double hundreds in Tests. Pujara was looking bit rusty before playing it on to the hands of the spinner. The Saurashtra batsman - whose innings lasted 9 hours - was given a standing ovation for his masterful innings which was laced with 22 boundaries.

Later, Rishabh Pant went on to slam his third Test fifty and first against Australia. The youngster took 85 deliveries to get to his half-century as he showed a lot of grit and patience in his innings. He along with southpaw Ravindra Jadeja started piling up runs quickly after India crossed 450. Pant started to up the ante after getting to his first fifty on the Australian soil. The reverse sweep against Labuschagne and a few cover-drives against pacers were a treat to watch.

3rd Session: Pant-Jadeja grill Aussies:

Pant slams sublime ton

Rishabh Pant slammed his career's second Test century after missing out on a couple of occasions against West Indies back home when he was dismissed for 92 twice. The left-hander got into the triple figures with a boundary and celebrated in style. What makes this ton more special was the way the Delhi cricketer constructed his innings.

Initially, he was acting as a second fiddle to the senior-pro Pujara but after Pujara's dismissal Pant shifted to third gear and started scoring at a quicker pace. Barring a little restlessness in the 90s, Pant hardly played a reckless stroke. The first maximum of his innings came after Pant completed his century.

The young wicketkeeper-batsman achieved what MS Dhoni couldn't in his Test career. Pant became the first Indian wicketkeeper-batman to slam a ton on Australian soil. Farokh Engineer (89) is the next best knock from an Indian glovesman in Australia.

Later, Ravindra Jadeja too went on to slam his tenth Test century. The Saurashtra batsman made most of the pitch that looked good for batting as the day progressed. The southpaw took a single against Lyon to get to his fifty and celebrated in his trademark style by brandishing his willow.

Jadeja too constructed his innings well and that over against Pat Cummins with the third new ball was the hallmark of his innings as he hammered four brilliant boundaries as India crossed the 600-run mark. The Australians were bereft of ideas as Jadeja and Pant kept frustrating them as Lyon had bowled 56 overs in this innings.

Jadeja and Pant put up a partnership of 204 runs between before Nathan Lyon cleaned up Jadeja for 81. It was the highest seventh-wicket partnership against Australia. No sooner than Jadeja was dismissed 19 short of his second Test ton, Indian captain declared innings at 622/7 which meant Australia had to bat for 10 overs.

Marcus Harris and Usman Khawaja opened the innings for Australia. Khawaja got a life on 0 when Rishabh Pant dropped him behind the stumps. Finally, at the end of the day's play Australia were 24 without loss with Harris (19*) and Khawaja (5*) present into the middle.

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    Story first published: Friday, January 4, 2019, 12:44 [IST]
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