India managed to recuperate some lost territory in the later stages of Day 2 of the fourth Border Gavaskar Trophy 2023 Test. After bowling out Australia for 480 runs, the hosts ended the day with 36 runs on the board, and all ten wickets in hand.
Following their consummate batting exhibition in the first session, the Aussies had a good start to the second session as well, with Cameron Green scoring his maiden Test century in only the third over since the resumption of play. However, his time out in the middle ended soon after as in an attempt to sweep a Ravichandran Ashwin delivery, he ended up edging the ball into the gloves of wicket-keeper, KS Bharat.
The wily off-spinner provided the hosts with another wicket in the same over, with Alex Carey departing for a duck. The scales were gradually tipping in India’s favour with Ashwin being the chief architect of the resurgence, as only four overs later, he added another wicket to his tally in the form of Mitchell Starc.
Usman Khawaja and Nathan Lyon did well to help the baggy greens breach the 400-run mark, but in terms of individual milestones, the former agonisingly missed out on what could have been his maiden Test double ton, by merely 20 runs.
He was trapped leg before wicket by Axar Patel in the first delivery of the third session, although India were far from being successful in their attempt of cleaning the Aussies’ lower order in a jiffy, courtesy of Lyon and Todd Murphy’s rearguard.
Murphy did incredibly well to score 41 runs before falling prey to Ashwin, in a sequence which also confirmed yet another Test fifer for the latter. In his next over, the 36-year-old also dismissed Lyon to wrap up Australia’s innings before they could reach the 500-run mark.
As for the Indian innings, both openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill looked in complete control of shots, thereby further corroborating the batting-conducive nature of the surface. The former is unbeaten on 17, with the latter not out on 18.
Khawaja, Green Make the Indian Bowlers Toil Hard
Earlier in the day, the first session proved all about the unswerving resilience of the Australian batters, as the Indians conceded 92 runs without any wickets to show for. The pair of Usman Khawaja and Cameron Green looked in undisputed control of the proceedings, with the latter bringing up his seventh Test half-century in only the first over of the day.
The 16th over of the day, bowled by Umesh Yadav, not only produced eight runs but also saw Khawaja and Green recording the highest partnership of this series.
A couple of overs later, the 300-run mark was breached as well, as Rohit Sharma’s bowlers toiled, laboured and wandered – all to no avail.
Yadav, in particular, proved to be expensive as the next over saw him conceding 12 runs, courtesy of three boundaries off Green’s willow. As the youngster marched towards a perfectly deserved ton, Khawaja brought up his 150 with an elegant pull off Mohammed Shami’s bowling.