In Stats, MCG Test Day 2: Pujara’s Patient Grind, Kohli’s Away Joy
A long day out with the bat saw India go past some long-standing marks in the 141-year history of the iconic MCG.
If the opening day of the Melbourne Test was a battle of attrition, the second act of the Boxing Day Test was all about patience and perseverance.
These are two qualities well known to Cheteshwar Pujara, who has had to persevere and be patient in cementing himself as India’s number three.
It was an attribute on full display at the MCG, as a 319-ball vigil, coupled with half-centuries from captain Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, led India to a daunting first innings total of 443/7d – their first score of over 400 in 11 Tests away from home in 2018.
The statistical highlights from Day 2 of the third Test between Australia and India:
Cheteshwar Pujara’s 106 in the first innings of the Boxing Day Test would be
- his 17th hundred in Test cricket
- his 15th first innings hundred in Test matches
- his seventh hundred in away Tests
- his fourth hundred in Tests against Australia
- his third hundred in Tests in 2018
- his second hundred in Tests in Australia
- Pujara’s innings, lasting 319 balls, would be the longest played by an Indian batsman in Tests at the MCG; the previous longest knock for an Indian batsman at the ‘G’ was Vinoo Mankad’s 309-ball 111 in 1947/48.
- With his knock of 106, Pujara extended his aggregate of runs in the ongoing series Down Under to 328, making it his most successful Test series away from home.
- Pujara and Kohli added 170 runs for the third wicket, which would be India’s second-best partnership in Test matches at Melbourne; Kohli’s 262-run stand for the fourth wicket with Ajinkya Rahane in 2014 remains India’s highest at the venue.
- Pujara and Kohli’s association lasted 409 balls, or 68.1 overs, making it only the second recorded instance of a visiting team having a partnership lasting more than 400 balls in a Test match at the MCG.
- When Pujara finally fell to Pat Cummins, it ended a streak of 25 consecutive Test wickets without a ‘bowled’ dismissal for the Australian fast bowler. Only seven of Cummins’ 74 Test scalps have been ‘bowled’ dismissals.
With his innings of 82, Virat Kohli broke Rahul Dravid's record for the most runs by an Indian batsman in away Tests in a calendar year.
- Rohit Sharma remained unbeaten when the Indian captain declared the innings closed; his 63 would be his first half-century in seven Test innings this year.
- Sharma’s knock, in fact, would be his first half-century in Tests outside Asia since the Sydney Test in January 2015, ending a run of 10 innings without a 50-plus score away from the subcontinent.
- The Indian innings had partnerships of 62 runs and 76 runs for the fifth and sixth wickets respectively; it was the first time in Test matches in Melbourne that India had realised partnerships in excess of 50 runs for the fifth and sixth wickets in the same innings.
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