Going into lunch at 105/2, India would have taken it with both hands. Fighting to save the game on a wearing Day 5 strip, India lost two early wickets but Murali Vijay and Virat Kohli did the repair job to rebuild the visitors’ innings.
The duo were taking it one ball at a time, and didn’t shy away from dispatching the bad balls. The post lunch session promised excitement and was very crucial for both sides. A couple of wickets would have allowed Australia to press for the win, and a good partnership could have steered into safety.
How the session unfolded not only drove the visitors into safety, but gives them a chance to go for the possible win.
Skipper, you beauty!
When he walked out to bat, there was plenty of chirping from the close-in fielders. India were two down without a major score on the board, and the skipper had to bat with a level head. He didn’t disappoint, did he?
Ball after ball he would take the Aussies on. Not trying too many things, the skipper looked like a man on a mission. He was not ready to surrender, and was up for a fight. A fight the Aussies way. Hard brand of cricket.
The 26-year-old drove well, flicked with ease and swept – a shot which he doesn’t use that often – with perfection against the turning Nathan Lyon. 10 fours, one hit over the fence and Kohli was operating at a healthy strike rate of 73. One thing is for sure, if he stays there till the end, India will press for the win.
Monk shows his class
He has been the most consistent Test batsman for India off late. With a good show in England and a top knock in the first innings, Vijay has become the new Mr. Dependable.
The right-hander combined well with Kohli to stitch what well can be a match-winning partnership. Though the duo weren’t that smooth when it came to the running between the wickets but adjusted well, and are all at ease in the middle.
Nearing his hundred, Vijay should ensure he bats long and bats big.
Clarke injured, again
This time it wasn’t the back, but it appeared he pulled his hamstring while fielding. The skipper limped off the field and was sent for scans for the second time in the match.
Clarke’s injury came at the wrong time for Australia as absence of regular skipper allowed India to dominate proceedings in the post lunch session.