Rishabh Pant became the first Indian wicket keeper to score a test century in Australia as the visitors took control of the fourth test at the end of Day 2 at the SCG.
Resuming at 303/4, the overnight pair of Hanuma Vihari and Cheteshwar Pujara added 26 more runs before Nathan Lyon got the break through for Australia. Vihari’s attempted sweep didn’t come off and the ball hit his glove, giving close-in fielder Marnus Labuschagne an easy catch.
Pujara and Pant stitched together an 89 run association for the sixth wicket before the Saurashtra batsman was dismissed just seven short of what would’ve been a magnificent double century. Lyon was again the wicket taker, taking a sharp catch off his own bowling.
After Pujara’s dismissal, Pant along with Ravindra Jadeja posted a record 204 run partnership for the seventh wicket at the SCG as Australia bowlers were ground to dust in the afternoon heat. Jadeja was finally bowled for 81 while attempting to smash Lyon into the stands, and that was enough for captain Kohli to call his troops in, with India declaring at a mammoth 622/7.
Pant has broken several records in his fledgling career- he was also the first Indian wicketkeeper to score a test century in England when India toured last year, and has made more runs in this test series than MS Dhoni did in his three tours of Australia combined.
The previous highest score by an Indian wicket keeper in Australia was by the legendary Farokh Engineer, who made 89 at Adelaide way back in 1967.
Lyon was Australia’s best bowler as he finished with figures of 4/178, while Hazlewood claimed 2 wickets. All of Australia’s main bowlers conceded more than 100 runs, and Paine was forced to turn to part time spin from the likes of Usman Khawaja and Travis Head in order to give them a break.
This was India’s second highest total on Australian soil- the previous best being 705 for 7 at this very same venue in the year 2003.
At stumps on Day 2, Australia finished at 24 for no loss with new opener Khawaja and Marcus Harris successfully negotiating the tricky 10 over period.
The day for the visitors would have been even better had Pant not dropped a straightforward catch in the third over off Mohammed Shami.
India at Stumps on Day 2- 622/7 – Cheteshwar Pujara 193, Rishabh Pant 159*, & Ravindra Jadeja 81 ( Nathan Lyon 4/178, Josh Hazlewood 2/105). Australia 24/0.