AHMEDABAD: Centuries from Usman Khawaja and all-rounder Cameron Green put Australia in a commanding position, with the visitors leading by 444 runs at the end of the second day of play of the fourth and final Test against India at Ahmedabad on Friday.
At the end of the day’s play, India’s score read 36/0, with skipper Rohit Sharma (17*) and Shubman Gill (18*) unbeaten at the crease. Australia started off things in the final session at 409/7, with Khawaja (180*) and Nathan Lyon (6*) at the crease.
Spinner Axar Patel struck on the first ball of the session, removing Khawaja for 180 off 422 balls. He ended his record-breaking innings, which involved facing the most balls by an Aussie batter in India against India, with 21 fours. Australia was 409/8. Khawaja also got the third-highest score by an Australian in India, with Matthew Hayden scoring 203 in 2001 in Chennai and Dean Jones scoring 210 in the same state back in 1986.
Australia continued to punish Indian bowlers despite the loss of their recognised batters. Lyon joined forces with Todd Murphy to put up a 70-run stand for the ninth wicket. It was Ashwin who ended the partnership and innings by dismissing Murphy for 41 and Lyon for 34. Australia was bundled out for 480 runs.
Ashwin impressed with the ball, taking 6/91 in his 47.2 overs. He took the 32nd five-wicket haul of his career. Shami also took two wickets. Jadeja and Axar also took one wicket.
Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill took to the field, with a responsibility to overcome this massive 480-run lead in their hands.
The opening duo looked really fluent, rotated the strike well and hit some fours and sixes occasionally.
India ended the second day of play without any loss of wicket.
With Ravichandran Ashwin claiming four wickets, Indian bowlers clawed back after a 200-run partnership stand between Usman Khawaja and Cameron Green on Day 2 of the fourth Test match against Australia in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy here at Narendra Modi Stadium on Friday.
At the time of tea Australia’s score read 409/7, with Khawaja (180) and Lyon (6) unbeaten at the crease. Resuming their innings after Lunch at 347/4, centurion Usman Khawaja and Cameron Green started cautiously as they kept taking singles at regular intervals.
With a superb four on Ravindra Jadeja’s delivery, Green brought up his maiden Test century. The Aussie batters rotated the strike brilliantly, not allowing the Indian bowlers to settle down while whacking the loose balls on offer.
The duo of Green and Khawaja stitched put a 200 runs partnership in 326 balls in the 126th over of the game. India bounced back with wickets in the latter half after the Green and Khawaja got the hosts off to a great mark.
In the 131st over of the game, Ravichandran Ashwin struck twice to remove centurion Green for 114. Ashwin then struck again in the same over to dismiss new batter Alex Carey for 0.
The left-handed batter Mitchell Starc then came out to bat but the latter could not do much as he was dismissed by Ashwin for 6. Khawaja held the fort from the front and took Australia’s total to 409/7 at the time of tea.
Earlier, Usman Khawaja and Cameron Green’s unbeaten stand for the fifth wicket took Australia past the 300-run mark as India’s bowlers struggled for wickets in the first session. Australia started the second day at 255/4 with Khawaja (104*), Green (49*) unbeaten at the crease.
The batting pair of Usman Khawaja and Cameron Green were decisive in their approach and made the Indian bowlers toil hard making merry of the excellent batting conditions on offer.
India started with spin from both ends with Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel bowling in tandem from both ends but captain Rohit Sharma introduced Mohammed Shami into the attack after the spinners failed to get any purchase from the wicket.
Australia all-rounder Cameron Green brought up his fifty soon after the day’s play began while Usman Khawaja continued to pile up runs after notching up a century on the first day. Cameron Green was the aggressor of the batting pair, smashing boundaries regularly. The final half an hour was completely dominated by the Aussie batters as runs came thick and fast for the visitors.
Khawaja displayed great resilience and determination as he brought up his 150 minutes before lunch with a pull. Umesh Yadav was on the receiving end with Green smashing him for three boundaries in an over.
The Aussie batters rotated the strike brilliantly, not allowing the Indian bowlers to settle down while whacking the loose balls on offer.
Brief Score: Australia 480 (Usman Khawaja 180, Cameron Green 114; Ravichandran Ashwin 6/91) vs India. (ANI)