India would kick themselves as they go into Tea on Day 2, as Rohit Sharma threw his wicket again in Brisbane. The visitors saw off the initial period and looked set to up the ante, but the opener’s untimely wicket handed Australia the advantage.
The Australians would be happy with their bowling performance. They were disciplined, and their hard work paid off as they dismissed both the Indian openers before Tea.
Brief scores India 62/2 ( Rohit Sharma 44, Cheteshwar Pujara 8*; Nathan Lyon 1/10, Pat Cummins 1/22) trail Australia (Marnus Labuschagne 108, T Natarajan 3/78) by 307 runs
India began their innings cautiously, as the Australian bowlers were on the money from ball one. They got more bounce from the Gabba wicket than the visitors managed, and kept it tight with a disciplined line outside off stump.
Both Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill settled in, as they left most of the deliveries. A strong start by the duo was a shining light for Team India in Sydney, but that wasn’t the case in Brisbane.
Pat Cummins was the first change and showed why he is the No.1-ranked Test bowler in the world. The pacer took just two deliveries to pick up a wicket. Shubman Gill timidly poked at a delivery outside off, and Steve Smith completed a smart catch at slip.
Cummins could have had two in two as Cheteshwar Pujara was the next to get caught up in the pacer’s relentless off stump line. But India got a respite as the ball just died down before it could reach Smith this time.
India’s senior duo steadied the ship after that, with Rohit particularly looking impressive. The opener was patient with his stroke play, as he defended well and left everything outside off. He put away the loose deliveries to the boundary as well and showcased his class with some exquisite drives.
Cheteshwar Pujara did what he does best, and held one end up. His soft hands saved him again, as another edge off Cummins didn’t carry to the slips. He saw off the initial threat from the fast bowler, and batting conditions got easier as the session went on.
Rohit Sharma’s dismissal pegs India back
Rohit Sharma’s dismissal coincided with India picking up the scoring rate. The visitors went from 26/1 after 12 overs to 55/1 in 19. But their attacking intent came at a cost, as Sharma got out against the run of play for the third time in succession.
The opener went after Nathan Lyon after pulling him for a boundary. In what can only be called a brain fade, Sharma took the spinner on and lost his wicket. The Mumbai Indians skipper will kick himself after throwing his wicket away again, as he missed out on a big score.
His untimely wicket halted India’s scoring just as they looked to get going. Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara shut up shop like they did in the first innings in Sydney and saw out the period till Tea.
Australia went into the break as the happier side. With their lead still over 300, the hosts will back themselves to make further inroads into India’s batting in the final session. The visitors will hope that Rahane and Pujara can stay at the crease till the end of the day’s play and score at an acceptable rate.
Published 16 Jan 2021, 10:40 IST