All rounder Axar Patel bailed India out of trouble by scoring a defiant 74 as the hosts recovered from 139/7 to 262 at the end of Day 2 of the second Test against Australia at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi on Saturday.
Resuming Day 2 at 21/0, the pair of KL Rahul along with skipper Rohit Sharma added 25 more runs before the former (17) was trapped leg before wicket by Nathan Lyon.
The off spinner put the hosts on the backfoot by dismissing both Rohit (32), and Pujara (0) in the same over.
India fell deeper into trouble when the returning Shreyas Iyer (4) fell to a superb reflex catch by Peter Handscomb at short leg, leaving them at 66/4.
However the pair of Virat Kohli along with Ravindra Jadeja featured in a crucial fifth wicket stand of 59 runs before Todd Murphy broke the stand by trapping Jadeja LBW for 26.
Former skipper Kohli looked at his ease in his innings of 44 before being given out leg before wicket by debutant Matthew Kuhnemann in controversial circumstances. Ultra Edge appeared to show a spike while the ball was simultaneously in contact with both bat and pad, but the third umpire decided that he didn’t have conclusive evidence to overturn Nitin Menon’s on-field decision and ruled in the bowlers’ favour.
KS Bharat then top edged a sweep off Lyon to Steve Smith to give the off spinner a well deserved five-fer.
The pair of Axar Patel along with Ravi Ashwin kept the visitors at bay with a crucial 114 run stand for the eight wicket before the latter (37) chipped a full delivery from Pat Cummins to substitute Matt Renshaw, who completed a fine catch diving to his right.
Axar’s superb innings of 74 ended, when Cummins took a stupendous catch at mid on off Todd Murphy.
Kuhnemann then wrapped up the innings by dismissing Mohammed Shami for 2.
The hosts were bowled out for 262, giving the visitors a one run lead.
In response, Usman Khawaja along with Travis Head got Australia off to a steady start. The pair added 23 runs before Khawaja (6) was caught brilliantly by Iyer at leg-slip off Jadeja.
Head (39*) along with Marnus Labuschagne saw the day through without any further alarms as the Aussies reached 61/1, with an overall lead of 62.
Stumps at the end of Day 2
Australia 263 and 61 for 1 vs India 262 (Axar 74, Lyon 5-67) lead by 62 runs