Ajinkya Rahane-led from the front and hit a superb ton to help India seize control on Day 2 of the Boxing Day Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Sunday (December 27). India were batting at 277 for 5 after the end of Day 2's play, taking a good lead 82 runs.
Rahane stitched useful partnerships with different batsmen to help India take control. Rahane's partnership with Ravindra Jadeja was the highlight of the day. Rahane and Jadeja came together after the dismissal of wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant.
India started Day 2 with score off 36 for 1. Shubman Gill was batting in full form before he was dismissed for 45 runs. Pat Cummins claimed his second wicket of the day when he dismissed Cheteshwar Pujara (17) caught behind the wickets. When Pujara was dismissed, India were reeling at 64 for 3 but Rahane joined hands with Hanuma Vihar (21) to steady the ship. Rahane and Vihari added 52 runs for the fourth wicket while trying to sweep a Nathan Lyon delivery.
After Vihari's dismissal, Pant came to the crease and it was then when India started to score freely. Pant batted with a positve mindset and it helped Rahane also as he started playing fluently. Rahane and Pant added 57 runs before Mitchell Starc dismissed Pant (29 off 40). Tim Paine grabbed a good catch to dismiss Pant.
India were trailing Australia by 22 runs when Jadeja walked in to bat. Jadeja batted with a cool head and batted with extra caution to help India grab a lead of 82 runs. Rahane remained unbeaten on 104 runs, while Jadeja was unbeaten on 40.