Axar-Ashwin 114-runs partnership bailed India out of trouble in the first innings on Day 2 of the 2nd Test here at Delhi. Australia, on the other hand, has a strong start in their second innings with 61/1 on board at the end of Day 2.
Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin’s defensive efforts enabled India to nearly equal Australia’s first-innings score in the ongoing second Test.
On the second day, India commenced their innings at 21/0, having played nine overs on the first day. The opening pair, skipper Rohit Sharma (13*) and KL Rahul (4*), resumed their unbeaten partnership.
They began steadily, picking up singles and hitting the occasional boundary. Nevertheless, before long, spinner Nathan Lyon removed Rahul for 17 runs off 41 balls, extending his poor run with the bat. As a result, India’s score stood at 46/1. They could only add 25 runs to their overnight score.
This brought Cheteshwar Pujara to the crease and fans had high hopes for the man who was playing his 100th Test. But Pujara marked his 100th Test match by becoming the second Indian and eighth overall player to score a duck, failing to make the occasion a memorable one for himself.
The list of other players who have had this unfortunate record includes Dilip Vengsarkar, Allan Border, Courtney Walsh, Mark Taylor, Stephen Fleming, Brendon McCullum, and Alastair Cook.
Before that, India reached the 50-run mark in the 18.2 overs with a sweep shot by Rohit, but Lyon’s consistent line and length kept posing a challenge to the Indian batters. Unfortunately, Lyon spoiled India’s chances of recovering from the early loss of the first wicket by dismissing skipper Rohit Sharma (32), Pujara (0), and then quickly returning to claim Shreyas Iyer (4) as his victim. As a result, India slumped to 66/4 in 25.2 overs.
The first session belonged to Aussies. Lyon’s spell of 4/25 was the difference between both sides.
At the start of the second session, India’s score was 88/4, with Ravindra Jadeja (15*) and Virat Kohli (14*) still at the crease. The pair carried on with their partnership, gradually reconstructing the Indian innings and eventually taking the team to the 100-run milestone in the 39.3rd over.
Kohli and Jadeja completed their fifty-run partnership and looked determined to extend it further. However, Todd Murphy intervened by dismissing Jadeja for 26 runs off 74 balls, caught leg-before-wicket. Unfortunately, this broke their partnership and reduced India’s score to 125/5, ending their 59-run stand for the fifth wicket.
Kohli departed the field after an impressive knock of 44 runs off 84 balls. At this juncture, India’s score was 135/6. Meanwhile, Nathan Lyon’s exceptional bowling performance persisted, as he clinched a five-wicket haul and also reached the 100-wicket milestone against India in Tests, by dismissing wicketkeeper-batsman Srikar Bharat for a paltry score of 6 runs. Consequently, India’s score slumped further to 139/7.
Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel partnership then took India past 200-run mark post tea session.
Axar Patel delivered a magnificent batting performance, reaching his third half-century in Test cricket. Furthermore, the partnership between Axar and Ashwin surpassed the 100-run mark, taking India’s score beyond 250 runs. However, Pat Cummins eventually ended their impressive 114-run partnership by dismissing Ashwin for 37, caught by Matt Renshaw. The following over saw Todd Murphy getting Axar Patel out for 74, caught by Cummins, resulting in the hosts losing their ninth wicket with a score of 259.
India were all out for 262 as Matthew Kuhnemann cleaned up Mohammed Siraj for 1 and Australia took one run lead.
For Australia, Usman Khawaja and Travis Head opened the second innings, while Ravichandran Ashwin took charge of the opening bowling for India. However, it was Ravindra Jadeja who managed to break the opening partnership by dismissing the left-handed Khawaja for just 6 runs, with a remarkable catch taken by Shreyas Iyer.
By the end of the second day, Australia had managed to score 61 runs, while losing only one wicket in their second innings, which extended their lead to 62 runs, with nine wickets still available. During this time, Travis Head scored 39 runs off 40 balls, while Marnus Labuschagne remained unbeaten with a score of 16.
Check IND vs AUS match Full Scorecard for all batting and bowling stats for Test 2, Day 2 numbers.