Editor’s note: This is a developing report and will be updated throughout the day.
An interesting first session played out between Australia and India on Saturday’s day two of the second Test as spinner Nathan Lyon wreaked havoc with four wickets including skipper Rohit Sharma to leave the hosts reeling on 88/4 at lunch.
Virat Kohli, on 14, and Ravindra Jadeja, on 15, were batting at the break with the hosts still trailing Australia by 175 runs.
The tourists overcame an early blow when opener David Warner was ruled out of the match with a concussion after a hit on the head in his day one knock of 15. Matt Renshaw is his substitute.
Australia burned two of their three available reviews in the morning when overnight batters Rohit, who made 32 after resuming on 13, and KL Rahul initially stood firm against the opposition attack.
But Lyon turned on the heat in his second over of the day to send back a struggling Rahul, under fire for his poor Test form of late, trapped lbw for 17.
He then bowled Rohit with a quicker delivery that rattled the captain’s stumps and then got Cheteshwar Pujara out lbw for a duck in the batsman’s landmark 100th Test.
Pujara’s lbw was turned down by the umpire only to be successfully reviewed by visiting team.
India were soon tottering at 66-4 when Lyon got Shreyas Iyer caught at short leg for four.
Kohli and the left-handed Jadeja were batting cautiously against the spinners including debutant Matthew Kuhnemann and Todd Murphy to see off the rest of the session in an unbeaten partnership of 22.
Australia, who lost the opener of the four-match series, were bowled out for 263 on Friday after electing to bat first.
Usman Khawaja (81) and Peter Handscomb (72 not out) stood out for the tourists.
Australia continued to dominate India on day two as Nathan Lyon led Australia’s spin charge with five wickets to leave India in deep trouble on 179/7 at tea after Virat Kohli fell to a controversial lbw.
There was much outrage on social media about the decision as third umpire Richard Illingworth upheld the on-field decision, much to the surprise of Kohli, who went back dejected and was seen animated while watching replays in the pavilion.
Kohli had resisted the Australian spinners until his departure and put on a key fifth-wicket stand with Ravindra Jadeja, who fell to Todd Murphy for 26. However, in another instance of the Indian lower-middle order coming through, Axar Patel put on a counter-attacking 28 and Ravichandran Ashwin, on 11, were batting at the break.
Lyon completed his 22nd Test five-wicket haul after sending back Srikar Bharat but it was debutant Matthew Kuhnemann’s earlier dismissal of Kohli, for 44, that hurt India. The hosts were still trailing Australia by 84 runs on a turning Delhi wicket.
Although Australia headed into the second innings with a slender one-run lead, Axar Patel fought back with a valiant 115-ball-75 to help India recover from a precarious position of 179/7. The eighth-wicket partnership was they key between Axar and Ravichandran Ashwin (37) and it helped closed the gap on Australia’s first innings total after they slipped to 139/7.
Australia finished Day 2 with 61/1 with yet another session in their favour. Even though they lost the previous innings’ top-scorer Usman Khawaja early, thanks to Ravindra Jadeja, they recovered rather quickly to soften the blow. Travis Head, who was moved to the top of the order, made a fluent unbeaten 39, while Marnus Labuschagne provided solid support with an intent-filled innings to help stretch the lead to 62.
On a day that belonged largely to the visitors, ending the final session on a strong note gives them the confidence they need to start a potentially exciting morning on Day 3.
With inputs from AFP