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India vs Australia, 2nd Test Day 2: Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane's fifties take India to 172-3 at stumps

Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane scored blistering half-centuries to take India to 172-3 at stumps after the visitors lost their openers early on Day 2 of the second Test in Perth. 

India vs Australia, 2nd Test Day 2: Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane's fifties take India to 172-3 at stumps
Image Credits: Twitter/@BCCI

After India lost their openers cheaply, skipper Virat Kohli struck a blistering unbeaten knock of 82 runs and he was well-supported by Ajinkya Rahane who showcased a brilliant batting display to help the visitors reach the score of 172-3 at stumps on the second day of the second Test at the Perth Stadium on Saturday. 

In reply to Australia's first-innings total of 326, India got off to a worst possible start to their innings as they lost openers KL Rahul (two) and Murali Vijay (duck) inside eight runs. 

First drop Cheteshwar Pujara (24) along with skipper Virat Kohli then combined to steady India's innings as the duo notched up a  crucial 74-run partnership for the third wicket before the former was caught behind the stumps by Australian skipper Tim Paine off Mitchell Starc's delivery. 

Kohli, who also struck his 20th Test half-century during the innings, then joined forces with Rahane and shared a huge 90-run stand between them to  put India in a decent position at the end of the second day's play.

At stumps, Kohli and Rahane were standing strong at their respective scores of 82 and 51, with India trailing by 154 runs with seven wickets in hand. 

Mitchell Starc bagged two wickets while conceding 42 runs, while Josh Hazlewood also chipped in with a wicket. 

Earlier, resuming at the overnight score of 277-6, Paine and Pat Cummins failed to survive for long and were dismissed for 38 and 19, respectively. Australia lost their last four wickets for 16 runs. 

Opener Marcus Harris was the top scorer for Australia with 70 runs, while Travis Head (58), Shaun Marsh (45) and Aaron Finch (50) also made significant contributions.  

Ishant Sharma was the pick of the bowlers for India for his figures of four for 41. Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav and Hanuma Vihari all finished with two wickets each in Australia's first innings. 

Here are the highlights: 

# Stumps!

# Kohli (82) and Rahane (51) batted brilliantly in the final session of the second day to take India to 172-3 (69 overs) at stumps. The visitors are still trailing by 154 runs.

# Rahane notches up a calm and composed half-century to help India cross a 150-run mark before stumps. The Indian batsman makes it back-to-back fifties in the series as he scors the knock in 92 ball. It is his 17th Test half-century.India 163/3 (66 overs)

# While Rahane and Kohli are looking comfortable in the middle, Paine is trying to rotate his bowlers in order break their stand before the end of the day’s play. Rahane has been showing intent and continue to trouble the bowlers as he is moving towards his half-century. India are now trailing by 177 runs.  India 148/3 (64 overs)

# Kohli (61*) and Rahane (33*) continue to bat beautifully as the duo brings up a 50-run stand for the fourth wicket to keep India's scoreboard ticking at slow pace. The Australian bowlers are in search of a wicket before the end of the second day's play. India 133/3 (57 overs)

# Nathan Lyon, who has been one of the most consistent bowlers for Australia in the series so far, can be seen troubling the Indian skipper in the last few overs. However, Kohli looks up for the challenge as he faces every delivery from Lyon with confidence. Rahane is too looking good on the crease at the moment as the two Indian batsmen are looking to survive till stumps. India 128/3  (52 overs)

# The Indian skipper Kohli scores a four through thid man in the third ball of the 43rd over to bring up his 20th Test fifty as India manage to cross a 100-run mark in their first innings. Rahane is looking perfect with him. The duo will hope to keep batting till the end of the day’s play. India 117/3 (47 overs)

# Rahane seems to have come out for batting with a positive intent as he is throwing his hand anything that is wide. India desperately need a partnership at the moment. Starc, on the other hand, have been bowling some poor deliveries as he is failing to find the length right. India are still by 227 runs. India 99/3 (42 overs)

# Ajinkya Rahane is the new batsman in for India! 

# Wicket! Starc gets the big breakthrough as he removes Pujara for 24. Pujara edges a beautiful delivery from the Australian bowler going down the leg side to hand an easy catch to skipper Tim Paine behind the stumps.It is a huge blow for India as a 74-run third wicket stand comes to an end.India 85/3 (39 overs)

# The Australian bowlers make a good start after tea, conceding just four runs in first three overs. Skipper Pat Cummins and the Aussies make a big shout for leg before wicket against Pujara, who eventually survives after review. The hosts lose a review. Meanwhile, Kohli is moving towards a half-century. India 75/2 (37 overs)

# Play resumes!

#Tea! India 70/2 (32 overs)

# The Indian skipper and first drop Pujara continue to bat well as they have brought up a 50-run partnership for the third wicket to bring their side back on track. However, the two are approaching the situation quite differently. While Kohli is trying to attack the bowlers and pile the pressure, Pujara is happy to pick the singles.Meanwhile, Nathan Lyon is trying hard to pile pressure on the duo as Australia look for some wickets. India 65/2 (31 overs) 

# The Australian bowlers are trying to pile some pressure on Kohli and Pujara as the hosts are looking to break their stand. The partnership has gone quite well for India and they should avoid poking at deliveries outside the off stump and look going into the tea break without losing a wicket.India 54-2 (25 overs)

# Kohli and Pujara look quite settled in the middle and are hoping to not hand the hosts a wicket in this session. The Australian bowlers, meanwhile, require to take a few more wickets in order to turn the game completely in their favour. India 48/2 (20 overs)

 

# Kohli (21) and Pujara (11) are playing cautiously as they look to steady the first innings for the visitors after early blows. Though the Perth wicket is clearly not the easiest one to bat on, the duo can still put in a good show to improve India’s chances of regaining position in the game. The Australian bowlers, meanwhile, are avoiding giving easy runs to them. India 40/2 (16 overs)

# Nathan Lyon introduced into Australia's attack!

# Kohli (19) punches down the ground for back-to-back boundaries. The visitors require this kind of positive batting after they lost their openers cheaply. Pujara (11), on the other hand, continues to struggle. The Australian bowlers are trying to make sure that the Indian skipper does not take the game away with the bat.India 38/2 (10 overs)

# Skipper Virat Kohli comes to bat at No.4 !

# Wicket! Josh Hazlewood bowls a brilliant yorker to dismiss Indian opener KL Rahul for two.  A bit of late swing leaves Rahul playing all round it as the ball goes through him and straight to the stumps. The visitors now need to show a bit more application in order to avoid early collapse.India 8/2 (5.1 overs)

# Cheteshwar Pujara is the new batsman in for India. Josh Hazlewood to begin afternoon session for the hosts. 

# Play resumes.

#Lunch!

# Wicket! Big blow for India as they lose opener Murali Vijay for a duck. Starc bowls a gorgeous full delivery as Vijay goes for the drive, but completely misses the line to see the ball smash into the stumps. The visitors are struggling early in their first innings. India 6/1 (3 overs)

# KL Rahul and Murali Vijay have walked down the crease to open the innings for India. Mitchell Starc to begin the proceedings for the hosts. 

# Innings Break!

# Wicket! Ishant Sharma takes two back-to-back wickets to bowl out Australia for 326 runs in the first innings. Firstly, Ishant bowls a full and wide delivery, only to see Starc get an outside edge and hand an easy catch to wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant. The Australian all-rounder is followed by Hazlewood edges the first ball from Ishant back for Pant to take another smart catch.Australia 326 (108.3 overs)

 

 

# Nathan Lyon comes in to bat !

# Wicket! Back-to-back strikes for India. Bumrah grabs his second wicket of the innings as Paine (38) trapped in front. The Australian skipper goes for DRS  and that is leg before wicket. The hosts down to eight wickets. Australia 310/8 (105.2 overs)

# Mitchell Starc is the new batsman in for Australia! 

#Wicket! Umesh Yadav removes Cummins for 19.India finally make the breakthrough on Day 2 as Umesh bowls a full delivery and it beats the outside edge and goes on to crash into the top of the off stump. The hosts down to seven wickets. Australia 310/7 (105 overs) 

 

# The runs have started flowing in for Australia at a brisk rate as Paine (34) and Cummins (19) combine to help the hosts cross a 300-run mark. The duo has also stitched a 50-run stand for the seventh wicket. The Indian bowlers need to seriously up their game if they want to break this partnership. Australia 306/6 (103 overs)

 

# Paine (33) and Cummins (15) continue to stand strong and trouble the Indian bowlers on the crease. They are looking all set to take Australia to a big score. The visitors need to quickly make some changes in their bowling attack if they want to break Australia's strong seventh-wicket stand as Shami and Ishant have been totally ineffective so far. Australia 299/6 (99 overs)

# Australia are off to a solid start on the second day as they have already added a few runs to the scoreboard with ease. Cummins and Paine are looking in very much control. Virat Kohli and company, on the other hand, need to avoid conceding runs and grab the remaining wickets of Australia in order to avoid them putting up a huge first-innings total. Australia 287/6 (94 overs)

# Mohammed Shami is starting the proceedings for India, with Ishant Sharma on the other end.

# Tim Paine and Pat Cummins have walked down the crease to resume Australia's innings. 

# The second day's play is all set to get underway!

The Indian bowlers put up a much improved performance in the afternoon session to restrict Australia to 277-6 at stumps on the opening day of second Test at the brand new Perth Stadium on Friday. 

After winning the toss and opting to bat first, the home side got off to a solid start, with Marcus Harris (70) and Aaron Finch (50) not only notching up half-centuries each, but also sharing a 112-run stand for the first wicket. 
  
Harris, who pulled off his maiden fifty off 90 balls, and Finch, who reached his second Test half-century off 103 balls, brought up a 100-run stand in the 34th over of Australia's first innings. 

Things finally started turning in favour of India after lunch when Jasprit Bumrah drew first blood for them by trapping Finch leg before wicket with a fuller delivery. 

Subsequently, Umesh Yadav and Hanuma Vihari got rid of Usman Khawaja (five) and Marcus Harris, respectively in quick successions to reduce Australia to 145-3 at tea.

Shaun Marsh (45) and Travis Head (58) steadied Australia's innings by bringing up solid knocks to help Australia cross a 200-run mark before Vihari and Sharma struck in the third session to dismiss them. 

Ishant Sharma, who started off poorly but gained the momentum later, was the pick of the bowlers for India for his figures of two for 35 runs, followed by Vihari's two for 53. Yadav and Bumrah also chipped in with a wicket each.  

At the end of the day's play, Pat Cummins and skipper Tim Paine were standing strong at the crease at their respective score of 16 and 11.

Lineups: 

India XI: KL Rahul, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma.

Australia XI: Marcus Harris, Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Tim Paine (c,wk), Pat Cummins, Mitch Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood (vc).