Pat Cummins has bowled Australia back into the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) with a spirited eight-over spell ahead of lunch on Day Two.
India lost the important wickets of Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara in the first session of Day Two to finish with the score on 90/3, still trailing by 105 runs. Skipper Ajinkya Rahane (10*) and Hanuma Vihari (13)* were at the crease, doing the repair job.
After the Adelaide defeat, Virat Kohli complained about the side’s lack of intent regarding scoring runs. India began the day with a positive approach, trying to utilise the scoring opportunities with debutant Gill taking charge right from the onset.
Australian captain Tim Paine was a busy man behind the stumps early on in the session, with the first ball of the day from Cummins beating Pujara’s bat. The hosts appealed confidently, but the umpire thought otherwise. Paine then reviewed the decision, only to lose it.
The following over, Josh Hazlewood cut Gill into half, drawing an inside edge which was dropped by Paine. Edges, tentative footwork and attractive strokes in between were the order of the morning with the Australian slip cordon often finding the red cherry falling short of them.
Brilliant Pat Cummins
Just when it seemed that India were beginning to own the morning, Cummins earned his reward for probing lines while Gill paid for his unsure footwork. Failing to move his front foot, Gill played a loose stroke outside the off-stump and managed an edge that nestled into Paine's gloves.
The Cummins-Paine duo were in action in the former’s next over. Bowling his seventh over on a trot, Cummins drew Pujara to commit to a false shot with an excellent delivery that shaped away, and the ball took the edge. The chance was taken as Paine went low down to his right to complete a stunner.
Despite the positive start to the session, Pujara, Rahane and Vihari dropped the shutters. They employed a cautious approach as India managed just 54 runs in the session.
Paine introduced Nathan Lyon late into the attack with the seasoned off-spinner bowling just two overs before lunch.
Australia 195 (Marnus Labuschagne 48, Travis Head 38; Jasprit Bumrah 4 for 56, Ravichandran Ashwin 3 for 35, Mohammad Siraj 2 for 40) lead India 90 for 3 (Shubman Gill 45; Pat Cummins 2 for 26) by 105 runsPublished 27 Dec 2020, 07:39 IST