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2nd Test, Day 2: Australia trail by 435 runs against India at stumps

Australia trail India by 435 runs in their first innings at the end of the second day's play of the third Test at the MCG on  Thursday.

2nd Test, Day 2: Australia trail by 435 runs against India at stumps
Image Credits: Twitter/@cricketcomau

India's top-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara struck a blistering century while skipper Virat Kohli well-supported him with an impressive fifty as India ended day two of the third Test on a strong position at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Thursday.

At the end of the day's play, Australia reached 8-0 in their first innings, with Aaron Finch (three) and Marcus Harris (five) batting at the crease, The hosts still trail India by 435 runs after the visitors declared their first innings at 443/7. 

Resuming at an overnight score of 215/2, Kohli and Pujara continued their rich vein of form as the duo went on to stitch a huge 170-run stand to guide India close to 300-run mark. 

Meanwhile,  Pujara (106) also notched up his 17th Test century off 280 balls. He reached the second century of the series and fourth against Australia by scoring a boundary off Nathan Lyon's delivery in the 113rd over.

Kohli (82), on the other hand, brought up his 20th Test fifty off 110 balls. It is the Indian skipper's fourth Test half-century against Australia and fifth of this year. He has now also scored  50-plus scores in three consecutive innings at the MCG. 

After Pujara and Kohli's dismissal, Rohit Sharma (63) rebuilt India's innings as he not only scored his 10th Test half-century off 97 ball but also shared crucial stands of 62 and 76 with Ajinkya Rahane (34) and Rishabh Pant (39), respectively to guide India past 400-run mark before declaration.

For Australia, Pat Cummins was pick of the bowlers as he bagged three for 72, followed by Mitchell Starc's figures of two for 87. Josh Hazlewood and Nathan lyon also chipped in with a wicket each.

Here are the highlights:

# Stumps! Australia 8-0 (6 overs)

# Aaron Finch and Marcus Harris have walked down the crease to open the innings for Australia. Ishant Sharma will begin India's proceedings. 

# Innings Break! India 443/7 (169.4 ov)

# Wicket! Hazlewood delivers a superb bouncer, giving no room, as Jadeja fends at it and gets a glove through to wicketkeeper and skipper Tim Paine. Following Jadeja's dismissal, Virat Kohli declares India's first innings at 443/7. 

# Ravindra Jadeja comes to bat at No. 8 !

# Wicket! As and when Pant was looking settled at the crease and started amassing runs for India, Mitchell Starc strikes to dismiss the Indian batsman for 39. Pant attempts to pull over wicket, but gets an edge and Usman Khawaja doesn't make a mistake to take simple catch at gully. India 438/6 (169 overs) 

# Rohit continues to stand strong as he brings up his 10th Test half-century off 97 balls as he alongwith Pant (22) help India cross 400 runs. Rohit took a single off a Finch delivery to achieve the feat. It is also Rohit's second Test fifty against Australia as well as Down Under. India 409/5 (164 overs)

# Aaron Finch has been introduced into the attack!

# Pant (17) and Rohit (43) continue to remain steady at the crease as India are approaching towards 400-run mark in their first innings. Australia are missing simple catches this innings,with the latest coming in when Pat Cummins dropped Pant at long-on. The hosts have missed three chances now, all off the bowling of Nathan Lyon. India 397/5 (161 overs)

# Pant is playing really cautiously as he has scored just five runs from 25 deliveries he played so far. It seems he is looking to play sensible cricket early on his innings and build a good partnership with Rohit, who is looking strong despite surviving two dismissals.Meanwhile, Australia have called in Josh Hazlewood to replace Cummins into the attack. India 380/5 (155 overs)

# Rishabh Pant is the new batsman in !

# Wicket! Rahane was caught leg before wicket off a Nathan Lyon delivery and this is a end of the 62-run partnership between him and Rohit (24).Rahane goes for 34. India 361-5 (149 overs). 

# India survived a few nervy moments in the last few overs when Rohit Sharma sweeps off Nathan Lyon and Peter Siddle misses a simple catch. However, the visitors are going strong as they reach the 350-run mark. India 350/4 (146 overs)

# Play resumes! 

# Tea! India 346/4 (143 overs)

# Rohit and Rahane are batting cautiously and keeping India's scoreboard ticking against a weary Australian attack. As the pitch is flat, it is the perfect time for the Indian batsmen to take advantage of the same and amass as much Test runs as they can. The Australian bowlers, on the other hand, are looking to break the partnership going into Tea. India 335/4 (137 overs)

# Rahane has started his innings positively while Sharma also seems to have a point to prove. The duo is looking to steady India's innings once again after losing Kohli and Pujara in quick successions. India have crossed the 300-run mark and still look in a strong position against Australia. India 319/4 (131 overs)

# Rohit Sharma comes to bat for India!

# Wicket! Pujara gets clean bowled by a Pat Cummins delivery in the 125th over. As a result, a terrific innings finally comes to an end on 106 from 319 balls. India 299/4 (126 overs)

# Ajinkya Rahane is the new batsman in for India !

 

# Wicket! Big blow for India.  Mitchell Starc gives a much-needed breakthrough to Australia by claiming a big wicket of skipper Virat Kohli. Short ball from Starc and Kohli goes for aerial shot, only to hand opener Aaron Finch a simple catch at third man. With this, the Indian skipper and Pujara's 170-run stand also comes to a hault. India 293/3 (123 overs )

# Pujara (104) and Kohli (74) continue to pile pressure on the Australian bowlers to help India keep accumulating runs and move quickly towards 300-run mark in their first innings. Kohli now has over 1,570 runs against Australia which is his most against any opponent. Meanwhile, the hosts are still searching for wickets to bring themselves back into the game. India 284/2 (121 overs)

#Pat Cummins bowls the first over following lunch!

# Play Resumes!

# Lunch!

# Kohli (69) and Pujara (103) continue to stand firm at the crease to help India reach 277/ 2 at lunch on Day Two of the third Test. The duo has added 154 runs for the third wicket as the visitors are quickly approaching the 300-run mark. India 277/2 (117 overs) 

# Pujara adds yet another feather on his cap as he brings up his 17th Test century off 280 balls at the MCG. He reaches the second century of the series by scoring a boundary off Nathan Lyon's delivery in the 113rd over. Pujara has now also amassed 322 runs in the ongoing Test series--which is maximum by any batsman.India 271/2 (114 overs)

 

# Pujara now has 2,000 Test runs away from home as he along with skipper Kohli continue to stand strong at the crease to guide India past 250-run mark in their first innings. With just a few overs left before lunch, Pujara (93) will definitely look to bring his Test century. Australia, on the other hand, are desperately aiming to break this partnership going into the lunch. India 262/2 (110 overs)  

# The visitors have managed to add 31 runs in the first 15 overs of this morning without losing a wicket.  Kohli and Pujara had survived a few nervy moments in the last few overs but have managed to help India reach close to the 250-run mark. Pujara is also approaching towards his Test century.  India 247/2 (105 overs)

# The Indian batsmen are going strong and focusing a lot on twos and threes in this innings. The duo is looking to help the visitors consolidate their position in the game and bat Australia out of the context. It seems the partnership has slowly started to haunt Australia as skipper Tim Paine has called in Nathan Lyon to replace Cummins into the attack--the second change of the day. India  241/2 (100 overs)

# Josh Hazlewood replaces Mitchell Starc into the attack!

# Meanwhile, Kohli has now scored  50-plus scores in three consecutive innings at the MCG. The other  two knocks of 169 and 54 came in 2014. It is also only his fourth Test half-century against Australia and fifth of this year. 

# India kick off the day on a promising note as Kohli brings up his 20th Test fifty off 110 balls. He achieves the feat by running for a quick three as the fielder at deep mid wicket takes time to chase the ball. The skipper, susbequently, also notches up a century stand with Pujara for the third wicket as the duo looks all set to guide the visitors to a good first-innings total. India 235/2 (95 overs)

 

# Skipper Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara have walked down the crease to resume India's innings. Pat Cummins will start the proceedings for Australia this morning. 

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

India posted a total of 215 runs for the loss of two wickets at stumps on day one of the third Test against Australia on Wednesday. 

This was largely possible after Mayank Agarwal produced a stunning performance on his Test debut and notched up a 161-ball 76 runs. 

Agarwal was well supported by Cheteshwar Pujara and skipper Virat Kohli who made their presence felt with quality knocks. 

While Pujara brought up a 200-ball 68 runs, Kohli scored a 107-ball 47 to help India dominate the clash on the opening day of the crucial Boxing Day match. 

India will be looking to deliver a similar performance on day two, setting the stage for a comprehensive victory. 

Pat Cummins was the sole wicket-taker for Australia picking two wickets in an excellent show with the ball.  

Lineups: 

India (XI): Virat Kohli (capt), Mayank Agarwal, Hanuma Vihari, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami.

Australia (XI): Tim Paine (capt & wk), Marcus Harris, Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Travis Head, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood.