Day 2: India vs Australia Live Streaming 2nd Test Match 2013
A virtuoso display of attacking cricket put India right on top in the second Test, despite another brilliant knock by Australian skipper Michael Clarke on Day One.
There was never any doubt that the spinners would have a big role to play at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium but the up-and-down nature of the pitch put the seamers in the spotlight too. It was a good toss to lose for skipper MS Dhoni after India went into the game with an unchanged lineup.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar got his first wicket in Test cricket and quickly added two more while Ravindra Jadeja joined the party with three scalps, even as Clarke missed out on what could have been his 24th Test century.
It probably was the fear of running out of partners that forced Clarke into his only cross-batted heave after having played beautifully for his 91 (186b; 9x4, 6x1). With the end nigh, and possibly to test the Indian openers for a few minutes before stumps, Clarke surprisingly declared the innings at 237 for nine, 15 minutes before the scheduled close.
M Vijay and Virender Sehwag weathered the initial burst, the latter even chancing his arm once to make sure India begin the second day at five without loss, more confident after their bowling effort.
The 145-run partnership for the fifth wicket between Clarke and Matthew Wade was what spared Australia the blushes as they lost five wickets for 28 runs. Harbhajan Singh terminated the partnership by getting rid of the Aussie wicketkeeper for 62 (144b; 8x4), with Bhuvneshwar taking a good catch.
Kumar also exploited the conditions well in the morning, and moisture in the pitch also aided his cause. He induced an inside edge off David Warner that cannoned into the stumps and then trapped Ed Cowan in front. Umpire Marias Erasmus took his time before ruling in favour of the bowler, though the ball might have pitched just outside leg.
Having made two changes in Glenn Maxwell and Xavier Doherty for Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon, it was imperative the Australians showed patience. But they probably sensed their only chance was to glean as many runs before the spinners came into attack and by doing that they played right into the hands of the Indians.
Phil Hughes and Shane Watson added 42 for the third wicket but fell in quick succession, the latter to a Bhuvneshwar delivery that kept low. Australia went to lunch at 83/4 after Hughes' intended cut nestled in Dhoni's gloves on the second attempt off Ashwin.
The session between lunch and tea proved the most profitable for the Australians as they realised 104 runs in 32 overs, with Clarke standing tall. The bat-pad chance which Pujara missed at short leg when the skipper was on 52 was the only time Clarke looked in trouble.
He clearly lacked support, though. Moises Henriques was cleaned up by Jadeja, debutant Maxwell rocked back to cut but succeeded only in edging to Dhoni while Harbhajan got rid of Siddle to shift the focus back to India's batsmen as they look to tighten their grip over the Test.