Fifties from Cheteshwar Pujara and KL Rahul along with some stoic lower-order resistance meant the fourth India-Australia Test is still in the balance after day two. After bowling Australia out for 300 on day 1, India ended day two still 52 runs behind with four wickets in hand.
Following Murali Vijay’s early dismissal, Rahul and Pujara took it upon themselves to put India back on track. Both scored their fifties but unfortunately couldn’t convert as Pujara was dismissed by an in-form Lyon while Rahul top-edged a pull shot.
Stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane took the fight to the visitors but fell just short of his fifty and courtesy of some defiant knocks from Ravichandran Ashwin and the pair currently at the crease (Wriddhiman Saha and Ravindra Jadeja), India have ensured that the game is still hanging by a knife’s edge after day two.
For the visitors, Nathan Lyon was the star of the show as he generated plenty of bounces and finished with a four-fer that brought Australia back into the game.
"There was a bit out there for me," says Nathan Lyon. “ (Enjoyed) Each and every one of them (wickets). We bowled well in partnerships. I thought we were brilliant with the ball. It was a pretty good effort to restrict them to 240-odd. In the first couple of sessions, didn't do much, but as the day progressed there was variation in spin and also bounce. There are similarities to the Bangalore wicket. The quicks will be in too with up-and-down bounce. We would like to come out and bowl well and take the four wickets and then bat well. It is fully healed and I'm lucky to have recovered (referring to the injured finger). They are a world-class batting line-up, and you have to challenge them consistently, that is where I am proud of our bowling unit as we have challenged them in their backyard. Long way to go in the rest of the series.”
Here are the reactions from the cricket fraternity:
Aussies need to stay patient, bowl exactly how they did in the first session. Game on! Who wants this series more?— Michael Clarke (@MClarke23) March 26, 2017
Just saw the score #INDvAUS is the wicket good or batting well or no third seamer the difference??— Mitchell Johnson (@MitchJohnson398) March 26, 2017
Another absorbing day of Test cricket. Once again, Lyon showed the importance of putting the body behind the ball...extracted extra bounce!— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) March 26, 2017
To all those silly people who are obsessed with a contest of words, watch Cummins Vs Rahul. Now, that is cricket!— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) March 26, 2017
What a series this has been! Individuals from both sides rising to the occasion to fight back. Lyon's turn today.#IndvAus— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) March 26, 2017