Ravindra Jadeja, Shubman Gill star after Steve Smith’s ton on Day 2


Sydney: Shubman Gill’s maiden international fifty took India to 96/2 at stumps on Day 2 of the third Test in Sydney on Friday (January 8). After Ravindra Jadeja’s four-wicket haul limited Australia to 338.

Rohit Sharma, playing his first game of the series, and Gill gave India a solid start. The pair played some beautiful-looking strokes and Fill scored 26 going into the tea interval before completing India’s first fifty-run opening stand of the series in the final session of the day’s play. Australia though managed to break the Rohit-Gill stand as Josh Hazlewood held on to a fine catch on his own bowling to get Rohit out for 26.

Gill continued his good show with the bat and brought up his maiden international fifty. However, Pat Cummins dismissed Gill soon after to give Australia their second wicket.

While Australia were looking for more wickets, Cheteshwar Pujara (9*) and Ajinkya Rahane (5*) denied Australia any more success before the close of play.

Earlier, Indian bowlers kept the things tight, conceding just 17 runs in the first 10 overs after Australia resumed the day’s play on 166/2. While there was a slight rain delay, it did not last long and Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith completed a 100-run stand to take Australia past 200.

However, the partnership was broken as Jadeja dismissed Labuschagne for 91 after skipper Rahane took a brilliant catch in the first slip. Smith then moved past fifty before there was a stoppage in play due to rain.

While Matthew Wade, who had joined Smith in the middle following Labuschagne’s fall, looked to get a move on, his mistimed aerial shot gave India and Jadeja their second wicket of the morning.

Jasprit Bumrah then helped India pick their third wicket of the session as he trapped Cameron Green before the wickets as the teams headed for lunch. India did not have to wait for too long to strike in the second session as Bumrah disturbed the timber to dismiss Tim Paine. Jadeja then picked his third wicket of the match, yorking Pat Cummins.

Smith went on to complete a fine hundred – his eighth against Indian in Tests. He and Mitchell Starc added 32 runs together to take Australia to 310. India then picked two wickets in the space of five runs as Saini dismissed Starc and Jadeja got Nathan Lyon.

Smith added 23 runs for the last wicket with Hazlewood but Jadeja’s brilliance in the field caught Smith short of his crease and ended his fine 131-run knock and Australia’s innings.

Brief Scores: Australia 338 all out (Steve Smith 131, Marnus Labuschagne 91; Ravindra Jadeja 4/64) lead India 96/2 (Shubman Gill 50, Rohit Sharma 26; Pat Cummins 1/10) by 242 runs.


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