Off-spinner Nathan Lyon struck vital blows in the final session to help Australia race ahead of India at stumps on Day 2. India was left reeling at the end of day’s play as Lyon (4/67) snapped the wickets of Ravichandran Ashwin, Karun Nair, Ajinkya Rahane and the all-important Cheteshwar Pujara to dent India’s response to Australia’s first innings total. These wickets break the back of Indian’s batting order putting them in a sticky situation as the hosts still find themselves trailing by 54 runs with only four wickets in hands.
The momentum kept swinging in favour of both the teams. The opening session saw India lose Murali Vijay cheaply before KL Rahul and Cheteshwar Pujara helped India peddle their way to stability. The duo looked rock solid and faced off the entire morning session. The Lunch session, however, saw India lose KL Rahul to Pat Cummins who perfectly set him up with a bouncer and a few words.
But, with Pujara at the crease and Rahane playing cautiously India still hoped that the day would end on a high. Going into the last session India ad two settled men at the crease and 8 wickets in hand. However, as Hayden predicted ahead of the final session, India went on to lose wickets in clumps in the last session as the cracks began to open up.
Lyon began his great work with the wicket of Pujara followed by Nair, Rahane and Ashwin to complete put brakes on India’s scoring rate and leave struggling for survival by the tie stumps was called by the umpires.
“Enjoyed) Each and every one of them (wickets). Just brilliant to bowl in partnerships. I thought we were brilliant with the ball. It was a pretty good effort to restrict them to 240-odd. In the first couple of sessions, it didn’t do much. It started doing as the day progressed; spinning and a lot more bounce. There are similarities to the Bangalore wicket. It has been up and down, said Lyon expressing satisfaction while speaking in the post-match interview.
The offie, who bowled with a bruised finger, also made his team’s intentions clear and was happy that his team has challenged India’s might in their own backyard.
“ Cricket’s a funny game, we will need to come out and get four wickets and bat big. Then whatever we set, we need to defend. It is fully healed and I’m lucky to have recovered (referring to the injured finger). They are a class batting line-up and you have to be consistent against them and challenge them, that is where I am proud of our bowling unit as we have challenged them in their backyard.”