India vs Australia Live Streaming 2nd Test Match Day 4, Ind v Aus
Given the scenario, the ongoing India-Australia Test has been reduced to a test of time. Now, it’s all about how long the Indian spinners take to break down the Australians’ resistance at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, here.
Australia put in a better effort on Day III, especially after their bowlers’ abject surrender to Cheteshwar Pujara (204) and Murali Vijay (167) on Sunday, as the visitors took India’s remaining nine wickets for just 116 runs.
They also got off to a positive start in their second essay, with David Warner looking to play in his normal aggressive style. But just around 40 minutes or so before the close of play, Warner and Phil Hughes ‘swept’ away the chances of a fightback.
Their faulty sweep shots gave India a double breakthrough, letting the steady start go for a toss. Both the left-handers tried to sweep going across far too much which allowed Ravichandran Ashwin’s spin to find a way to the stumps.
That the bowler had changed his angle, to come over the wicket, was also a reason behind the dismissals.
At stumps, Australia were 74 for two — slipping from 56 without loss — still trailing by a whopping 192 runs. Ed Cowan (26 batting) and Shane Watson (batting on nine) need to rise to the occasion to ensure a solid stand. Leaving everything on Michael Clarke will not be enough.
Chances of an Australian revival is bleak, given their wobbliness against spin. And that’s the reason why we can that it’s just a matter of time before the hosts go 2-0 up in the four-match series.
The situation, in fact, could have been worse had Warner and Cowan not got reprieves. Pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the unfortunate bowler on both occasions.
Virat Kohli first floored one after Warner slashed a short, away going delivery from Kumar towards gully in the fifth over of the Australian innings. Soon after, Cowan inside-edged when the ball shaped back a shade into him. But Mahendra Singh Dhoni couldn’t hold on to it.
Earlier, resuming at 311 for one, Pujara and Vijay continued from where they had left on the second day. Going on a counterattack, captain Clarke set an aggressive field with close-in fielders when Xavier Doherty started proceedings in the morning session.
Be it due to the sky-high confidence that the duo had gained with their big hundreds or Doherty’s failure to create pressure, the Indian batsmen kept on piling runs comfortably, extending India’s lead.
The pair added 370 between them, India’s highest partnership for the second wicket against any opposition, before Glenn Maxwell accounted for Vijay much against the run of play.
Pujara, however, remained undeterred and brought up the second double-century of his career with a flick, off Maxwell, bisecting mid-on and mid-wicket to reach the fence.
Shortly before lunch, James Pattinson dug one short, which Pujara tried to hook, but holed out to the fielder at deep fine-leg, the lone error in his 415-minute presence at the crease.
India’s score at the time of Pujara’s dismissal was still a staggering 393 for three. But thereafter, the hosts lost all their remaining wickets for only 110 runs. And a bigger surprise was Maxwell (four for 127) and Doherty (three for 131) taking bulk of the wickets.
Pattinson first got rid of Sachin Tendulkar, who was taken down the leg side by ’keeper Matthew Wade, though Marais Erasmus ruled in favour of the bowlers only after consulting the TV umpire.
In came Dhoni (44) and he was on the ball straightaway, latching on to anything wayward and ill-directed. It looked as if another rampage was in the offing, with Virat Kohli too chipping away at the other end.
Dhoni and Kohli put on 56 for the fifth wicket before the captain fell prey to Maxwell’s luck. The off-spinner bowled yet another over-pitched stuff that was asking to be hit, but Dhoni’s aerial drive found Doherty at mid-off.
With the lead already having gone past 200, the Indian batsmen seemed to be in a casual mood. And in the process, Maxwell got two more wickets in the form of Ravindra Jadeja and Kohli, while Doherty, too, has at least something to show in the figures column, having sent back Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh and Kumar.
The mini-collapse, though, won’t be much of a concern to India as they are well on course to go 2-0 up in the series. And for that, Pujara and Vijay deserve more than just kudos, as it was their precious stand that made all the difference in this game, so far.