Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21, 2nd Test: Centurion Ajinkya Rahane puts India on top at stumps on Day 2
India is taking on Australia in the Boxing Day Test for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. India is the defending champion of the title. India was off to a flying start with the ball on Day 1, as it is looking good with the bat on Day 2.
India is comfortably cruising in the Boxing Day Test against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). So far, the visitor has an 82-run lead, at stumps on Day 2, thanks to skipper Ajinkya Rahane's 12th Test century.
India has so far survived the challenge of facing the Aussie bowlers early during the day, as it holds the fort at lunch on Day 2 of the Boxing Day Test, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), on Sunday. India is 90/3, with pacer Pat Cummins striking early.
Winning the toss on Day 1, Australia was bundled out for 195, courtesy pacer Jasprit Bumrah's 4/56, while Marnus Labuschagne was the top scorer, with 48. India was off to a shaky start, as it finished Day 1 on 36/1, with Shubman Gill and Chetehswar Pujara staying unbeaten.
Resuming on Day 2 at the overnight score, the pair contributed 61 runs for the second wicket. However, Cummins got rid of Gill at the score for 45, after he edged it behind to wicketkeeper, Tim Paine.
Three runs later, Gill's partner, Pujara followed him back as well, as he fell for 17 to the same bowler, in a similar fashion. Nonetheless, it was then the pair of skipper Ajinkya Rahane and all-rounder Hanuma Vihari who managed to hang on, as India was 90/3 at the lunch break.
Resuming its session post lunch at 90/3, it was at the score of 116 when Vihari fell for 21 to spinner Nathan Lyon, after being caught in the slips by Steve Smith. However, it was followed by a 57-run stand for the fifth wicket, between Rahane and wicketkeeper-batsman, Rishabh Pant.
Nonetheless, it was at the score of 173 when the side lost its fifth wicket, in the form of Pant, who fell for 29 to seamer Starc, after being caught behind by Tim Paine. Meanwhile, the pair of Rahane and all-rounder, Ravindra Jadeja, took control, as they stayed unbeaten on 53 and four, respectively, at the rain-forced tea break, trailing by just six runs.
Resuming at the post tea score of 189/5, India continued to dominate with the pair. As Australia earned the second new ball, hoping for turning its luck around, it barely made an impact, with both batsmen continuing their onslaught over the pacers.
Furthermore, just after the new ball was taken, Rahane was dropped on 73 by Steve Smith in the slips, off Starc. The skipper made the most of the lifeline, as he went on to score his 12th century in the format, while he scripted numerous records with the same.
After the century, Rahane was dropped again by Travis Head in the slips off Starc's delivery, while he was at 104. Meanwhile, it immediately saw a rain interruption, as an early stumps was called for the day, while India leads by 82, at the score of 277/5.
For the Aussies, they have utilised five bowlers so far. Meanwhile, the pacers have tasted success so far, with both Starc and Cummins claiming a couple each. Lyon is the only other bowler to have claimed a wicket.
Brief scores: Australia 195 (Labushagne 48; Bumrah 4/56, Ashwin 3/35) leads India 277/5 (Rahane 104*; Starc 2/61, Cummins 2/71) by 82 runs.