Australia’s bowlers put up a dominant show with the ball as India lost half their side for 151, in response to the Kangaroos’ first innings score of 469, at the end of Day 2 of the on going World Test Championship Final at the Oval on Thursday.
Resuming at an overnight score of 327/3, Steve Smith reached his well deserved hundred by flicking Mohammed Siraj for two successive boundaries. The overnight pair of Smith and Head added 34 more runs before the latter gloved a well directed short ball from Siraj to wicket keeper KS Bharat for a fantastic knock of 163. His knock came off 174 balls with 25 fours and a six.
Mohammed Shami then got into the act by dismissing Cameron Green caught behind at second slip by Shubman Gill for 6.
Smith’s fine innings of 121 ended as he chopped a length delivery from Shardul Thakur back onto the stumps. Mitchell Starc (5) was then run out following a magnificent one handed direct hit from substitute fielder Axar Patel at mid off.
The pair of Alex Carey and Pat Cummins featured in a valuable 51 run stand for the eight wicket before the former (48) was trapped leg before wicket by Ravi Jadeja while attempting a reverse sweep.
Siraj then dismissed Lyon (9) and Cummins (9) as the Aussies were bowled out for 469.
In response, openers Rohit Sharma along with Shubman Gill got India off to a steady start. The pair put on 30 runs for the opening stand before the former was trapped leg before wicket by Cummins for 15.
Gill (13) was then bowled by Scott Boland as he offered no stroke to a delivery that angled in. Cheteshwar Pujara fell in a similar fashion as he offered no shot and was castled by Cameron Green for 14.
Star batsman Virat Kohli looked good for brief while before falling to a brute of a delivery from Mitchell Starc that bounced, where Smith took a fine catch at second slip for 14.
Ajinkya Rahane got a lucky escape when Cummins trapped him leg before wicket for 17, but the Aussies skipper had overstepped.
Rahane along with Ravi Jadeja brought the innings back on track with a 71 run stand for the fifth wicket before the latter edged a flighted delivery from Nathan Lyon to Smith at slip for a breezy 48.
Rahane and Srikar Bharat saw the day through without any further alarms as India ended Day 2 at 151/5, still trailing Australia by 318 runs.
Stumps at the end of Day 2
India 151 for 5 (Jadeja 48, Boland 1-29, Lyon 1-4) vs Australia 469 (Head 163, Smith 121, Siraj 4-108) trail by 318 runs