Pujara and Vijay bury Aus under tons on Day 2
Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay hit centuries and built a superbly paced unbeaten 294 run partnership for the second wicket to take India to 311/1 at Stumps on Sunday at Hyderabad.
India scored 306/1 through the course of the day, losing just the wicket of Virender Sehwag and taking a 74 run lead by the close of play. Sehwag’s dismissal off an edge to the keeper in just the 5th over of the day saw Pujara walk in with the score reading 17/1. Mindful of the assistance that the pitch had provided to Bhuvneshwar Kumar on Day 1, Vijay and Pujara focussed on getting through the session without losing any more wickets. Siddle, Henriques, Pattinson and Doherty were shut out with tight defence and patience but things looked bad when a dive to beat a direct hit left Pujara hobbling on a hurt knee. Only 49 runs came in first session as India went to lunch at 54/1.
Vijay signalled intent with a stylish flick off Siddle in the second over after lunch. Pujara removed all doubts with his attack on Pattinson two overs later, hitting him for three boundaries in an over. Vijay’s fifty came with a six off Doherty, the hit also bringing up India’s 100. Pujara brought up his fifty a while later with a four off Glenn Maxwell and with his running limited due to a hurt knee, he focussed on getting boundaries, accelerating well enough to draw level with Vijay on 73 by Tea. The two scored 106 runs in the second session, India reaching 160/1 when Tea was taken.
With the Aussie bowlers offering nothing to threaten them, Vijay and Pujara raced towards three figures. Pujara got there first and Vijay followed, bringing up his second Test ton with a four off Doherty.
Nothing went the way of the bowlers, especially Doherty who managed to extract sharp turn, vicious bounce and healthy edges at times but with no success. Pujara had taken 114b for his fifty, 74b from there to get to hundred and just 42b more to get to his 150, crossing the milestone with a hook off Siddle for six. The two looted 151 runs off the last session to take India to stumps at 311/1 with a first innings lead of 74.
Their unbeaten 294 run stand is India’s highest for the second wicket against Australia and the third highest 2nd wicket stand for India overall. Pujara finished on 162* (251b, 25x4, 1x6), his 4th hundred and his 3rd 150+ score. His only 50 in Tests remains his 73* on debut against Australia at Bangalore in 2010, coincidentally the same game in which Vijay scored his maiden Test ton. Vijay finished on 129* (288b, 17x4, 2x6), his second ton, both in Tests and against Australia.