IND vs AUS 4th Test, Day 2 Stumps: Pant-Jadeja show deflate Australia at SCG


Hindustan Surkhiyan Desk: After Cheteshwar Pujara’s mighty 193, some blistering knocks from Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja brutally bullied the Aussies in the fourth and final Test at the Sydney Cricket ground on Friday. The visitors amassed their 2nd highest team total on Australian soil, piling up 622/7 declared on the second day of the match. In reply, Australia were 24/0 in the 10 overs with Usman Khawaja (5*) and Marcus Harris (19*) at the crease.

Pant became the first Indian wicketkeeper to claim a hundred Down Under with an unbeaten 159-run effort that came off 189 balls on the second day of the match. This was his second Test hundred, the first being in England earlier this year.

The Aussie bowling unit was also mauled by Jadeja (81) and the home team’s desperation for a breakthrough resulted in even top-order batsman Usman Khawaja being pressed into the attack.

Pant, who struck 15 fours and a six, he put on 204 runs for the seventh wicket with Jadeja.

For Australia, Usman Khawaja was dropped on nought by Pant off Mohammed Shami (0-9) in the third over, and he was unbeaten on 5 runs, with Marcus Harris (19 not out) keeping him company.

Post tea, the hosts simply waited for the declaration to come as India crossed 500 in the 149th over.

There was no signal forthcoming from the balcony and the Pant and Jadeja kept batting on. The 21-year-old Pant then reached his hundred off 137 balls and became the first Indian keeper-batsman to score a Test century in Australia.

India continued batting on, seemingly a ploy to break the Australian spirit, with Jadeja scoring his 10th Test half-century off 89 balls. The duo scored aggressively and brought up their 200-run partnership off 221 balls, the highest for India’s seventh wicket against this opposition, after Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha’s 199 in Ranchi (2017).

Australia took their third new ball of the innings and Nathan Lyon (4-178) bowled Jadeja in the 168th over in search of his hundred and Virat Kohli called the batsmen in.

India crossed 400 in the 123rd over with the dup bringing up their 50-partnership off 74 balls. In all, they added 89 runs for the sixth wicket.

Pujara got a life on 192 when Khawaja dropped him at slip off Lyon in the 126th over. But the batsman couldn’t score his first overseas Test double hundred and offered a tired return catch to Lyon four overs later.

Earlier, India reached 389-5 at lunch after starting at overnight 303-4. Pujara took his fifth-wicket partnership with Hanuma Vihari (42) to 101 runs.

Pujara crossed a few more milestones during this morning session. Firstly, he went past 153, his previous highest overseas Test score, against both South Africa (Johannesburg, 2013) and Sri Lanka (Galle, 2017).

He also became only the third Indian batsman to score 500-plus runs in a Test series against Australia, after Rahul Dravid in 2003-04 and Virat Kohli in 2014-15.

Pujara had finished day one on 130 not out, his 18th Test hundred and third century of this on-going series.

India, chasing a maiden Test series triumph on Australian soil, have an unassailable 2-1 lead after winning the opener in Adelaide by 31 runs and the third match in Melbourne by 137 runs. Australia won the second Test in Perth by 146 runs.


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