India on top despite Australia fightback
India grabbed a huge 266 run first innings lead before taking 2 Australian wickets in the final session to finish with the upper hand on a hard fought Day 3 of the second Test at Hyderabad.
Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay resumed their 294 run partnership in the morning, adding another 76 runs in the first session to enter the record books, their 370 run stand surpassing Dilip Vengasarkar and Sunil Gavaskar’s unbeaten 344 run stand made in 1978 as India’s highest ever for the 2nd wicket in Tests.
They made a watchful start, Pujara still seemed to have a trouble with his hamstring which he had stretched early on Day 2 while trying to beat a direct hit. Then they started finding the boundaries and soon, Vijay brought up his 150 with a clip off Siddle. Pujara brought up his 1000th Test run, becoming the second fastest Indian to do so in terms of innings (18) after Vinod Kambli (14) and the joint fastest with Sunil Gavaskar in terms of Tests, both getting there in their 11th Test.
Pujara was on the cusp of his double ton when Vijay (167, 361b, 23x4, 2x6) fell to Glenn Maxwell, their partnership falling just 6 short of the epic 376 run stand between VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid in the 2001 Kolkata Test. Pujara himself followed a few overs later for 204 (341b, 30x4, 1x6), Xavier Doherty gaining a semblance of revenge by taking a good catch at long leg. India went to lunch at 400/3.
After waiting nearly 110 overs for his turn to bat, Sachin Tendulkar lasted just half an hour in the middle. The umpires for once worked their way around the non availability of a DRS to ascertain whether he had edged Pattinson to Wade, Marais Erasmus slyly checked to see whether Wade took the catch cleanly and received confirmation on the nick from the third umpire during the review.
Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni shared a quick 54 run stand for the 5th wicket in which the skipper made a rapid 44 (43b, 8x4), taking India’s lead past 200 in the burst. Australia held on to more than they dropped after that, Doherty and Maxwell taking 7/126 between themselves. Kohli (34, 92b, 3x4) brought up his 1000th Test run as well but despite his best efforts to shepherd the tail, India lost 7 wickets for 103 runs in that session to be bowled out for 503, a first innings lead of 266.
David Warner came out teeth bared, taking 3 boundaries off an Ashwin over but slowed down after being dropped by Virat Kohli off Bhuvneshwar Kumar at gully. Ed Cowan had already survived an LBW appeal off Bhuvneshwar by then and was dropped again off the same bowler a few overs later by Dhoni. The youngster was really unfortunate in not getting wickets despite impressing with the movement he derived on a sweltering afternoon.
MS Dhoni then employed Harbhajan Singh and Ashwin from the two ends, tying down the batsmen and adding to the pressure in a thirteen over stretch which produced 2 wickets and just 16 runs. Ashwin changed to bowling over the wicket and immediately found success, bowling both Warner and Phil Hughes while they were trying to sweep. Phil Hughes has now faced 39 deliveries of spin since the first innings at Chennai, scoring 0 runs off them and being dismissed 4 times in the process.
Jadeja and Ashwin (2/42) closed the day for India while Shane Watson (9*, 27b, 1x6) and Cowan (26*, 100b, 4x4) held vigil for Australia who finished on 74/2, still trailing India by 192 runs with two days of play remaining.