Captain Ajinkya Rahane showed character and led from the front to complete his very classy 12th Test hundred. An unbeaten century stand between him and Ravindra Jadeja has given the vistors a solid first innings lead of 82 runs already.
Ajinkya Rahane scored his 12th Test hundred (AP Image)
- India have a 82-run lead over Australia at end of Day 2
- Ajinkya Rahane completed his 12th Test hundred
- Rahane and Jadeja have stitched an unbeaten partnership of 104 runs
Ajinkya Rahane played a captain’s knock and a smashed a very classy hundred to put India in complete control on Day 2 of the Boxing Day Test at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Sunday. At the time of stumps, the visitors were batting at 277 for 5, gaining an impressive lead of 82 runs in the process.
The highlight of the day was the continuous partnerships between Ajinkya Rahane and his very able partners, who joined him in different phases of the game. Rahane’s partnership with southpaw Ravindra Jadeja can be rated as the most vital one amongst all of them. The two started together after the departure of free-flowing Rishabh Pant. A wicket there could have seen things going south for the side, which was under huge pressure coming into the Test match.
India started the day with their overnight score off 36 for 1. Shubman Gill looked fidgety but departed only after scoring 45 runs. Pat Cummins struck again in his next over to get Cheteshwar Pujara (17) caught behind the wickets. The scorecard read 64 for 3 at that juncture and another wicket was sure to leave the side reeling under pressure.
But Hanuma Vihar (21) joined hands with captain Ajinkya Rahane, who as expected came to bat at number 4. The two stabilised the innings and partnered for 52 runs before the former got out while trying to sweep a Nathan Lyon delivery. The ball bounced more than the right-handers assumption and kissed his gloves before comforatably landing into the hands of Steve Smith.
Team India’s X-factor Rishabh Pant joined the captain next and it was then when runs started to flow. Pant was positive throughout in his approach and that rubbed onto Ajinkya Rahane also. The well set capatin started playing his shots as well. 57 runs was stitched between them when Mitchell Starc got successful in getting the edge of Pant’s (29 off 40) bat. Tim Paine completed a catch for the third time in the day.
India were 22 runs behind Australia’s 195 when Ravindra Jadeja walked in. Another good partnership was need of the hour and Jadeja understood it very well. He started off very watchfully and did not even once got carried away in his 104-ball unbeaten innings. Together with Rahane, he took India’s lead to 82 runs finally the day ended. To add a pinch of drama just before stumps were called and drizzling started, Travis Head dropped Rahane’s catch off Starc.
Ajinkya Rahane went unbeaten at an individual score of 104 runs. Jadeja was unbeaten on 40.