By SAT Sports Desk
Sydney: India is in the box seat after day 2 of the final test of the 4 match series at the SCG thanks to a classy 193 by Pujara and an impactful 159* by the 21 year old Indian keeper, Rishabh Pant. Ravindra Jadeja also contributed with a timely 81 missing out on a century, his dismissal leading to India declaring their 1st Innings at 622/7 and sending in Australia to bat for testing 10 overs before the close of play. The Australian bowlers had no answer to Pujara’s patience and were eventually broken down by the 204 run partnership by Pant & Jadeja. Nathan Lyon was the leading wicket taker with 4 wickets on a day where Australia even bowled batsmen Khawaja and Head to break the final partnership. The key difference between the Indian first innings at the last test at the MCG and this test, has been the higher run rate of the, 3.71 which lead India to cross 600. This compared to a run rate of 2.61 in Melbourne. It has been a good toss to win for India in both the games and the batsman have exposed Australia’s fast bowling after long days in the field with the mercury 30 degrees and above. Shane Warne on fox cricket has been critical of the bowling with the harshest comments reserved for Mitchelle Starc and his performance. Australian captain Tim Paine in the post match confirmed Starc has “just been low on confidence”.
The only blemish by India on day 2 was a dropped catch by keeper Rishabh Pant with Khawaja on 0, who came out to bat in the opening slot in this test. With the pitch conjunctive to batting and a hot day predicted on Day 3 in Sydney, Australia will be looking to keep India on the field as long as possible and put up a positive batting display. They will have to tackle India’s two spinners, Jadeja & Kuldeep Yadav who will likely do majority of the bowling with fast bowlers Shami and Bumrah coming in for short bursts with the temperature expected to reach 38 degrees.
India has ended day 1 of the 4th test at the Sydney Cricket Ground on 4/303, paving the way for its first series victory on Australia soil. The day belonged to opener Mayank Agarwal who made 77 runs and Chetshwar Pujara who ended the day not out on 130, much to the delight of the Indian fans who again turned out in big numbers. The noisiest section of the ground was occupied by the Bharat Army which kept the drums beating and the volume high, cheering every run and milestone. The loudest cheer was reserved for Pujara’s 100 as echos of Pu-ja-ra were heard throughout the ground. With India leading the series at 2-1, Kohli would be looking at bat throughout day 2 using the MCG victory as a template and effectively take Australian victory out of the equation. India need to draw or win the SCG test to ensure their first and historic test series victory on Australian soil.