Ajinkya Rahane finished unbeaten on 104 as India ended day 2 of the Boxing-Day test on 277 for 5 leading by 82 runs. Ravindra Jadeja is batting alongside him as the duo added an unbeaten century stand to help India dominate in the final session of play. This happened after India resumed the day on 36 for 2 and there was some good confident and positive batting from all the batsmen throughout the day. More about the day 2 report in detail below.
India started day 2 on 36 for 1, a score which gave them nightmares in the build-up to the second test. However, this time around, the Indian batsmen were more assertive in the way they played the Australian bowlers throughout the course of these two days. Shubman Gill resuming on 28 went onto add 25 more runs to his overnight score. He scored 43 before being dismissed by Pat Cummins. In the process, he became the third-highest scorer for India while making his Test debut in Australia. Cheteshwar Pujara added 10 runs to the overnight score before being dismissed for 17.
Skipper Ajinkya Rahane came into bat at 64 for 3 with Hanuma Vihari (21) as the visitors went to lunch at 90 for3. The first session thus belonged well and truly to the Aussies.
Ajinkya Rahane’s Ton Helps India Dominate Day 2
Rahane added two fifty-plus partnerships and an unbeaten century stand with Ravindra Jadeja (40*) in the next two sessions. Starting their second session at 90 they reached 189 for 3 at tea with Rahane getting strength to strength during his innings. He first added a 52-run stand with Vihari and then joined in for a 57-run stand with Rishabh Pant who scored 29 off 40 deliveries.
It was Pant’s innings that provided real momentum to the Indian innings who were taking it really slow until then. Rahane also started playing aggressively seeing Pant go big at the other end. Pant struck three fours during his innings and ran well between the wickets as well. He also made good use of his feet and off the crease to play shots against Aussie spinner Nathan Lyon.
The third session belonged entirely to India as India went past the Australian first innings total and taking a lead of 82 at the end of the day’s play. Rahane got to his 12th Test hundred, one which resembled his own character in many ways. He did not let the team feel the absence of Virat Kohli as he fought time to get to his landmark.
This was his second Test ton at the MCG and perhaps one of his most memorable knocks. Rahane was given a life just after getting to his century as Travis Head dropped him at gully. He added a 104-run stand with Jadeja who himself has looked comfortable with the bat on 40 not out off as many as 104 deliveries.
The Australian bowlers bowled really went in the first session of the day picking up two early wickets. Thereafter the partnerships from the Indian batters took the sting away from the bowlers. Pat Cummins with those early wickets looked the best of the lot. There was spin on offer for Nathan Lyon too, however, he was negated well by all the Indian batters.
India 277 for 5 (Rahane 104*, Gill 45, Jadeja 40*) lead Australia 195 all out by 82 runs