Pujara-Vijay Partnership Leaves Australia Struggling

Pujara-Vijay Partnership Leaves Australia Struggling
Pujara-Vijay Partnership Leaves Australia Struggling
©REUTERS / Action Images

Australia 237-9 dec. & 74-2 v
India 503 (Pujara 204, Vijay 167)
Second Test, Hyderabad, day three
Scorecard | Day One | Day Two
Report by Chetan Narula in Hyderabad

Mural Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara extended their second-wicket partnership to 370 on day three of the second Test against Australia in Hyderabad and the home side closed 192 runs ahead.

After India were eventually bowled out for 503, Australia reached stumps on 74 for two following the departures of David Warner (26) and Phillip Hughes (0), both bowled by Ravichandran Ashwin.

Pujara had earlier registered his second Test double-century, making 204 in 341 balls while Vijay hit 167 in 361 deliveries, following which India lost six wickets for 91 runs.

Glenn Maxwell (4-127) and Xavier Doherty (3-131) shared seven wickets but despite the collapse, India remain heavy favourites to move into a 2-0 series lead either tomorrow or on the final day.

Vijay and Pujara carried on their overnight work and scored runs patiently in the first passage of play. They extended their second-wicket partnership from an all-time-best-versus Australia to an all-time-best-for-India, overtaking Sunil Gavaskar and Mohinder Amarnath’s unbroken 344 against West Indies in 1978-79.

Their stand was broken when it stood at 370, as Vijay was caught by Ed Cowan off Glenn Maxwell. He scored 167 runs off 361 balls, hitting 23 fours and two sixes. At the other end, Pujara carried on and completed his second double ton of the season, making 204 runs off 341 balls, with 30 fours and one six. He was out pulling James Pattinson in the deep. With his dismissal, India took lunch at 400 for three.

In the second session, Australia turned on the heat and the Indian middle order collapsed, losing their last seven wickets for just 103 runs.

Sachin Tendulkar (7) was the first to go, caught behind off a faint edge. That brought together Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who started in the same fashion in which he batted at Chennai, scoring 44 runs off 43 balls, at more than a run-a-ball. He hit eight fours and added 56 runs with Virat Kohli for the fifth wicket.

He was out caught, trying to go over the top, to Xavier Doherty, as the collapse began. Ravindra Jadeja was caught by Maxwell off a stunning catch and Ashwin edged Doherty, who also accounted for Harbhajan Singh and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

In between Maxwell took advantage of turn and bounce as his left-arm spin partner, to edge out Kohli, who scored 34 runs. He used up 92 balls and hit only three fours, in what was an uncharacteristic knock, as India lost their six wickets for just 43 runs.

For the Australians, Maxwell was the best bowler as he finished with four for 127 on debut. Doherty took three for 131, while Pattinson (2-80) and Peter Siddle (1-92) were the other wicket-takers.

Australia began their second innings 266 runs behind, but their openers Warner and Ed Cowan began with purpose. They put up a counter-attacking partnership of 56 runs before Warner (26) was bowled round his legs trying to sweep Ashwin.

Phil Hughes (0) was guilty of the same, also against Ashwin, as they were reduced to 74 for two at stumps.

© Cricket World 2013

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