Editor’s note: This is a developing report and will be updated throughout the day.
Usman Khawaja hit a remarkable 180 and Cameron Green scored his first century before Australia were bowled out for 480 by India on day two of the fourth Test on Friday.
Meanwhile, Ravichandran Ashwin bowled a memorable spell on a relatively flat wicket to take six wickets even as Khawaja’s 208-run fifth-wicket partnership with Green put the tourists in the driver’s seat in Ahmedabad.
India will resume its overnight score of 36/0 in the hope of setting a solid foundation on Day 3.
Here’s a session-wise recap of the day:
In what proved to be yet another wicketless session for India, Australia piled on the misery and the runs. After starting the day at 255/4 with Khawaja fresh off his first century against India on Day 1 and Cameron Green batting at 49, Australia went into lunch at 374/4 after scoring 92 runs in 29 overs.
Although the pitch looked great to bat on on the second day, the Indian bowlers did not look threatening and failed to create any wicket-taking opportunities in the morning. Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja were the only ones who seemed to pose any threat but the moments were brief and did not prove to be significant. The Australian duo put the visitors in a strong position with Khawaja reaching his 150 and Green closing in on his his first Test century – he’s currently on 95.
Australia continued to push India to an uncomfortable spot as Green notched up his first Test century soon after lunch. He cut away a short and wide delivery off Ravindra Jadeja and soaked in the emotions that come with getting that milestone for the first time.
The Ahmedabad pitch still favoured batters but spinner Ashwin grabbed three wickets in the second session – among them Green’s – to bring some Indian joy.
Ashwin snared two wickets in one over. He broke the massive stand of 208 – Australia’s highest Test partnership in India since 1979 – after he got Green caught behind on a delivery sliding down the leg side.
He had wicketkeeper-batter Alex Carey out for a duck three balls later and soon sent back Mitchell Starc for his fourth wicket in the innings.
The left-handed Khawaja, who struck his first Indian Test ton on day one and 14th overall, kept up his grind from one end with Nathan Lyon for company on six at the break.
Khawaja remained calm in his 421-ball stay to break the Australian record for longest Test innings in India. The previous record was Graham Yallop’s 392-ball knock in Kolkata in 1979.
In just the first ball after tea, Axar Patel brought Khawaja’s fine innings to an end for 180. India opted to take a review and it turned out to be successful as Khawaja, in an attempt to tuck a straight ball and to the on-side, was struck right in front.
Ashwin took six wickets but Khawaja’s mammoth knock off 422 balls and his 208-run fifth-wicket partnership with Green put the tourists in the box seat in Ahmedabad. Todd Murphy (41) and Lyon (34) kept the Indian bowlers frustrated in a 70-run stand for the ninth wicket before Ashwin broke through for his 32nd five-wicket haul in Tests.
Ashwin trapped Murphy, a left-hand batter and off-spinner, lbw and then sent back Lyon to wrap up the innings. Australia were eventually bowled out for 480 by India on day two.
In reply to Australia’s 480, India began their innings in positive fashion as they saw off the tricky 10 overs of play with relative ease. Shubman Gill (18*) and Rohit Sharma (17*) will hope to continue unscathed as India head into what could prove to be a Day 3 at 36/0.