Team India ended the second day of the last and final Test at Brisbane against Australia at 62 for 2, still trailing by 307 runs. Rain interrupted play in the last session of the day, which meant that the match remains evenly poised. Australia had been shot out for 369 earlier, with the visiting team picking up 5 wickets for 95 runs in the first session. In reply, the Indian opening duo of Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma looked comfortable on a good batting track. Though there was plenty of pace and bounce on the wicket, the Indian openers did well before they lost their wickets.
Gill played too far outside the off stump as Pat Cummins got him to outside edge one to second slip. Rohit Sharma looked in control yet again, as he drove down the ground and attacked anything wide of off stump or short, but, once again, was dismissed while attempting a nothing shot. Nathan Lyon, who has got Rohit six times in the format, got the ball to spin in, which forced the batsman to play a false shot.
Earlier, the Indian bowlers did well to get 3 wickets for 4 runs but allowed the tail to wag as the score crossed 350 runs. Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon shared a 39-run stand, with the latter, in particular, looking in dangerous form. He hit a couple of pull shots and drives straight down the ground as the Indian pacers bowled short. He ended up scoring 24 in 22 balls, while Starc contributed with an unbeaten 20 off 35 balls. The last wicket added 15 runs before T Natarajan put an end to the misery, as he got the wicket of Josh Hazlewood.
The Indians, however, did not have the greatest start to the day as Cameron Green and Tim Paine started off aggressively with shots on both sides of the wicket. The inexperienced Indian bowlers gave away a number of loose deliveries, which released the pressure on the batters. The Aussie skipper was dismissed soon after he got his fifty, outside edging a Shardul Thakur delivery to second slip, where Rohit latched onto the catch.
Green, however, rode on some luck as he survived a number of chances. He edged T Natarajan only to find no slip present and then saw an outside edge off the bowling of Washington Sundar ricochet off Rishabh Pant’s thigh only to fall short of Ajinkya Rahane at second slip. Sundar soon got Green though, as the batter played inside the line of an off break delivery, only to miss the edge as the ball hit the stumps.
Despite the errors in the line and lengths, the Indians managed to correct themselves and forced the Aussies to commit mistakes, which needs applause. Without Navdeep Saini – he injured his groin on Day 1 – the bowling rests on the shoulders of Sundar, Mohammad Siraj, T Natarajan and Shardul Thakur, and they should be pleased with the performance on a flat surface.
The Indian batters now will hope to bat through Day 3 and get as close to the Australian score as possible. Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara are the overnight batsmen.
Brief Scores: Australia 369 lead India 62/2 (Rohit Sharma 44; Nathan Lyon 1-10, Pat Cummins 1-22) by 307 runs