After eight sessions of play India has finally managed to edge ahead of Australia. One of the main reasons was an unbroken 93-run stand between Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane. However, there were a few other things which the hosts got right. We take a look at those
The Indian openers showed admirable intent when they came out to bat 35 minutes prior to lunch. KL Rahul continued his bright start by clipping a compact and effective straight drive. While Abhinav Mukund also looked steady at the crease till he was dismissed by Hazelwood. The Indian openers chipped off 38 runs to trail by 49, and didn’t lose a wicket. For the Australians none of the four bowlers used produced anything compelling and India had its best session of the series.
After the dismissal of Abhinav Mukund it was KL Rahul and Cheteshwar Pujara who steadied the ship for India. It was a critical partnership because it ensured that India did not suffer another dramatic collapse unlike previous innings.
India had its brightest moment of the series when the duo of Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara forged an unbeaten stand of 93 from 203 balls. Their partnership is the highest stand of the series so far for either team (going past 82 by Renshaw and Warner for the 1st wicket in 1st innings in Pune). This is only the third 50+ stand for India in this series.
Patience against spin
The intention of the Indian batsman was to play out the first spells by the spinners and then take them on. This is exactly what they did bu showing patience, calmness and anticipation. Apart from the skill against the turning ball, Test match batting in the subcontinent is also a test of ones patience. It required the batsmen to play out the tough periods and wait for the right ball.
Keeping Lyon wicketless
After tormenting India in the first innings Nathan Lyon went wicketless in the second innings. After bowling 27 overs he went for 69 runs but most importantly went wicket-less. This was mainly due to the application and determination showed by the Indian batsman.