A fantastic show by Australian spinners pushed India into the backfoot at the end of the second session of day two of the second Test between both sides at Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi on Saturday. At Tea, India's score read 179/7 in 62 overs, with Axar Patel (28*) and Ravichandran Ashwin (11*) unbeaten. India still trails by 84 runs in the match.
India started the second session at 88/4, with Ravindra Jadeja (15*) and Virat Kohli (14*) unbeaten. The duo continued to rebuild the innings and brought India to the 100-run mark in 39.3 overs. Kohli-Jadeja brought up their fifty-run partnership and seemed to be all set to convert it into a big one.
But Todd Murphy played spoilsport, trapping Jadeja leg-before-wicket for 26 off 74. India was 125/5 and the 59-run stand for the fifth wicket was over between the two. Virat was looking in good touch, playing spinners well. He hit some delightful boundaries against spinners and looked all set to hit his 29th Test half-century.
However, spinner Matthew Kuhnemann got his maiden Test wicket in form of Kohli. He dismissed him leg-before-wicket in a controversial fashion as it was not clear if the ball hit the bat or pad first. But the decision went in favour of the bowler and Kohli had to walk off after a well-made 44 off 84 balls. India was 135/6 at this point.
Nathan Lyon continued his destructive run in the match, getting a fifer and also his 100th wicket against India in Tests by dismissing wicketkeeper-batter Srikar Bharat for 6. India was 139/7. Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel were the next pair and all eyes were on lower-order batters to deliver yet another good performance with the bat.
The duo helped India reach the 150-run mark in 53.2 overs. Axar removed some pressure in the 60th over, smashing Kuhnemann for a four and six.Axar-Ashwin took India through the rest of the session without any further damage.
Earlier, a fiery spell by spinner Nathan Lyon left India struggling at the end of their first session of the second Test against Australia of the four-match series at Delhi on Saturday. At lunch, India's score read 88/4 in 35 overs, with Ravindra Jadeja (15*) and Virat Kohli (14*) unbeaten at the crease.
India started off the second day at 21/0 in nine overs, with skipper Rohit Sharma (13*) and KL Rahul (4*) unbeaten.
Rohit-KL made a solid start to the second day, stealing singles and hitting an occasional boundary or two. However, they could add only 25 runs to their first-day score before KL was dismissed by spinner Nathan Lyon for 17 off 41 balls.
A string of low scores continued for the opener. India was 46/1 at that point. This brought Cheteshwar Pujara to the crease and fans had high hopes from the man who was playing his 100th Test. A sweep shot by Rohit in 18.2 overs took India to the 50-run mark. However, Lyon continued to ask questions to Indian batters with his line and length and troubled them. Lyon played a spoilsport to India's hopes of recovery after the first wicket, dismissing skipper Rohit Sharma (32), Pujara (0) and a returning Shreyas Iyer (4) in quick succession. This reduced India to 66/4 in 25.2 overs.
Pujara became the eighth batter and second Indian batter to get a duck in his 100th Test match and failed to make the occasion memorable for himself. Other players to have had this unfortunate record to their names are Dilip Vengsarkar, Allan Border, Courtney Walsh, Mark Taylor, Stephen Fleming, Brendon McCullum and Alastair Cook.
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Virat and Ravindra Jadeja started to build a small partnership following a flurry of quick wickets. They took India through the remainder of the session without any further damage.Brief Scores: India: 179/7 in 62 overs (Virat Kohli 44, Rohit Sharma 32, Nathan Lyon 5/41) trail Australia: 263 (Usman Khawaja 81, Peter Handscomb 72, Mohammed Shami 4/60).