2nd Test: Hazlewood, Smith shine on Day 2 as Australia fight back against India

There would be plenty to ponder for Australia's new skipper Steve Smith on Day 2 of the second Test match as most of his bowlers have looked out of form while the Indian batsmen have scored runs at ease.

2nd Test: Hazlewood, Smith shine on Day 2 as Australia fight back against India


Day 2, Australia innings:

Over 52 || Score 221/4

Second day of the second Test also ended prematurely due to bad light. It was a mixed day as both the teams have had their moments. If Australian bowlers, especially the debutante Hazelwood (5/68), bowled superbly in the morning to restrict the visitors around 400, then Indian bowlers, Umesh Yadav and R Ashwin too bowled well to share all four Oz wickets, fell in the day, between each other. The match is evenly poised at the moment. But the home side still has a slight edge as they are trailing by 187 runs and have six wickets at their disposal. At stumps on day 2, skipper Smith and all-rounder Mitchell Marsh were unbeaten on 65 and 7 respectively. One again the first session of the third day's play would be crucial for both the teams.            

Play has been suspended due to bad light. 

Over 48 || Score 241/4

Shaun Marsh OUT! Yadav picked up his third wicket. A length ball on the off stump, the southpaw tried to cut it but only managed to get the outside edge and Ashwin took a superb catch at 1st slip. Mitchell Marsh is the new man in. Skipper Smith is still in the middle and playing sensible cricket. Still 12 overs remaining in the day and a couple of wickets here and there today and India will be right on top of the match.           

India picked up three crucial wickets in the post-lunch session, including that off half-centurion Chris Rogers, as Australia made 121 for three in their first innings at tea on the second day of the second cricket Test, here today.

Umesh Yadav dismissed Rogers (55 runs, 79 balls, 10 fours) just at the stroke of tea to bring India back into the contest.

Australia were 121 for three in 24.5 overs at the break in reply to India's 408 all out. The hosts currently trail India by 287 runs.

Rogers clipped a Yadav (2/35) delivery to give India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni a simple catch behind the stumps.

The left-arm opener's dismissal was the last action of the post-lunch session. Australia skipper Steve Smith (6 not out) was the unbeaten batsman at the other end.

Rogers had been under some pressure after failing in the Adelaide Test, when he walked out to open the innings with David Warner (29 runs, 28 balls, 6 fours).

For India, Ishant Sharma (0-35) and Varun Aaron (0-46) took the new ball but returned wicketless.​

Earlier, debutant Josh Hazlewood grabbed a fifer as India lost six wickets in the extended morning session to be bowled out for 408 in their first innings at lunch.

Hazzlewood returned with impressive figures of 5 for 68, picking up three of them this morning, as the visitors lost their last six wickets for just 97 runs to be bowled out in 109.4 overs.

Play started on time this morning despite seven overs not being bowled on day one, with Ajinkya Rahane (81 runs, 132 balls, 8 fours) and Rohit Sharma (32 runs, 55 balls, 3 fours, 1 six) looking to build on their 50-run partnership.

Except Mitchell Marsh (1/14), Australia had all their other bowlers back in the field and looked to improve their performance from the third and final session last evening.

And they succeeded, particularly Hazlewood as he bowled a nagging off-stump line and moved the second new ball enough to trouble the Indian batsmen.

The Indian batters especially found it difficult to tackle Hazzlewood's outswingers as he picked up all three wickets this morning using that delivery.

First Hazzlewood accounted for Rahane, in only the third over of the day, with a beauty of an outswinger. Rahane was struck at the crease and only managed to edge it to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, who registered his fifth catch of sixth dismissal of the innings.

Rahane's dismissal brought skipper Dhoni (33 runs, 53 balls, 4 fours) at the crease but despite Rohit being set at the other end, runs dried up.

Watson (1-39) then removed Rohit in the 92nd over. The talented Mumbai batsman went for a drive to a wide delivery only to loft it in the air and young Australia captain Smith held a beautiful catch at the second slip, diving low to his right.

It brought Ashwin (35 runs, 41 balls, 6 fours) at the crease and together with Dhoni and the duo added 57 runs for the seventh wicket in quick time.

Dhoni and Ashwin's 50-run partnership came off just 54 balls in the 101st just after India reached the 350-mark had in the 96th over.

The duo was looking good for a lot more, but Hazlewood had other plans when he returned to the attack in the 103rd over.

Ashwin had looked good so far, playing with his usual comfort and solidity, but he received a good outgoing delivery from the debutant bowler and only ended up edging it behind to Watson at first slip.

Two overs later, Hazlewood removed Dhoni as well, the batsman looking to leave an inswinging ball only to edge it to Haddin.

While India's 400-mark came up in the 107th over, Nathan Lyon (3/105) thereafter polished off the tail with two quick wickets. His first victim was Varun Aaron (4) as substitute fielder Marnus Labuschnage held a stunning catch at forward short leg. It was supposedly the last delivery before lunch but the fall of wicket extended the session by half an hour.


Day 2, India innings:

Over 110 || Score 408/10

Nathan Lyon picked his first wicket of the innings when Umesh Yadav was looking to defend a ball which popped towards short leg where substitute Marnus Labuschnage dived full length to his front and grasped the catch cleanly. After missing out on a few strokes, Umesh Yadav took his chance off a Nathan Lyon delivery but hit it straight to the fielder at deep midwicket. So on Day 2, India have lost their six wickets for 97 runs!

UT Yadav c Rogers b Lyon 9 (21b)

VR Aaron c sub b Lyon 4 (11b)

Over 105 || Score 394/8

Hazlewood continued to impress on his debut, as he dismissed another set batsman – Ravichandran Ashwin for 35. He once again pitched one short of a length ball which swung away from the batsman who edged it straight to Shane Watson at first slip. Umesh Yadav is the new man in. MS Dhoni was expected to accelerate the pace of the Indian innings, he tried doing so, but was in two minds while playing a delivery off Hazlewood, which kissed the bottom of his bat and landed into the safe hands of Haddin, who picked his sixth catch of the innings! With Dhoni's wicket, Hazlewood has also picked his five-wicket haul on debut! That's a tremendous effort from the youngster! Varun Aaron is the new man in. India would for sure want to cross the 400-run mark.

MS Dhoni c Haddin b Hazlewood 33 (53b)

R Ashwin c Watson b Hazlewood 35 (41b) 

He might not be playing the Test match, but Michael Clarke is happy with the effort his boys have put in today and he also liked that brilliant catch from Steve Smith.

Over 100 || Score 374/6

Ashwin and Dhoni have so far added unbeaten 46 runs for the seventh-wicket partnership. Ashwin has played some gorgeous strokes and Dhoni too has kept the scoreboard moving with his attacking shots every now and then. Nathan Lyon has been introduced into the attack and Smith would be hoping the off-spinner once again weaves some magic, as he did in the first Test.

Over 95 || Score 348/6

While Hazlewood was bowling brilliantly, Smith made a surprising move when he introduced Shane Watson into the attack. Watto's second ball of the day to Rohit was pitched outside the off-stump, he played a loose stroke and the Australian skipper took a brilliant catch towards wide of second slip, diving full length to his right! Ravichandran Ashwin is the new man in. He missed the first Test where Karn Sharma played his debut Test. Time for him to play a pivotal knock for his team and prove his credentials with the bat! Meanwhile, after suffering few blows into the body early in the innings, Dhoni smashed two consecutive boundaries off Mitchell Starc in the 95th over of the innings. The skip looks all set to play his strokes now!

RG Sharma c Smith b Watson 32 (94m 55b)

Johnson is still finding it hard to find his rhythm. VVS Laxman shares his view why Johnson has failed to make an impact in the series.

Over 90 || Score 324/5

MS Dhoni is the new man at the crease and he has already faced two blows on his body from Australian speedsters. Hazlewood continues to bowl a probing length, while the feary Mitchell Johnson is trying his best to find his rhythm to intimidate the batsmen. Rohit Sharma is batting on 32 and it's an excellent opportunity for him to score a big knock.

Over 86 || Score 321/5

Hazlewood, Australia's most successful bowler on Day 1 continued to impress with his line and length as he got the first breakthrough of the day by dismissing set batsman Ajinkya Rahane off a beautiful delivery. It was pitched on middle-stump and moved away, Rahane had to play it and he managed an edge to the wicketkeeper! Terrific start for Australia and once again, Rahane has failed to convert a fighting knock into three figures.

AM Rahane c Haddin b Hazlewood 81 (132b)

Needless to say, Australian bowling attack hasn't been as formidable as they have been over the last eight to ten months. They need early wickets else this is what is likely to happen according to Glenn McGrath:

There would be plenty to ponder for Australia's new skipper Steve Smith on Day 2 of the second Test match as most of his bowlers have looked out of form while the Indian batsmen have scored runs at ease.

After missing a ton by just one run in the first Test, Day 1 of the second Test belonged to Murali Vijay, who continued his great run with the bat and deflated the Aussies with a 144-run knock. Battling the humid conditions, Vijay looked slightly perturbed during the initial phase of his innings, but once he was set, he played some magnificent strokes and won praises from several stalwarts of the game.

At stumps on Day 1, the two unbeaten batsmen at the crease were Ajinkya Rahane (75*) and Rohit Sharma (26*) who have stitched unbeaten 50 runs for the fifth-wicket stand.

Josh Hazlewood was the pick of the Australian bowlers as he scalped two of the four wickets which fell on Day 1.

The major concern for the Australians would be the form of Mitchell Johnson, who has looked a shadow of himself, considering his phenomenal form this year.

While Mitchell Marsh won't be able to bowl for the rest of the Test match, debutant Hazlewood suffered cramps as a result of which he had to leave the field shortly before stumps. Mitchell Starc too was seen struggling with back pain in the mid of the innings.