Agencies, Hyderabad The Australian cricketers were brought to the ground by the combined assault by two equally devastating craftsmen on a sunny Sunday at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium here today.
When match appeared be slipping away from the Australians, India has established a firm stranglehold. At stumps on the second day of the second India-Australia Test, India appeared poised for a major lead against the visitors, thanks to blazing centuries by two batsmen from Youngistan.
Murali Vijay and Chateshwar Pujara did not just enliven the proceedings on a Super Sunday but actually shattered the hopes nurtured by the Australians with their record-making unconquered second wicket partnership to put India in the saddle at a majestic 311 runs for the loss of one wicket. The home team leads by 74 runs with nine wickets in hand.
Pujara and Murali Vijay with their respective fourth and second Test centuries blazed through and appeared to do no mistakes even as the bowlers lost the sting with neither the pacers nor the spinners finding any purchase. On their way, the pair showing verve while sweet-timing the bowlers amid a deadly combination of aggression and cautiousness, eclipsed the second wicket partnership of 224 against Australia standing in the name of Sunil Gavaskar and Mohinder Amarnath since Sydney in 1986. Pujara reached the three-figure mark with a double off Glenn Maxwell in the 73rd over while the opener, who was more guarded, got his century with a four off Xavier Doherty five overs later to gradually shoot to the lead. They thoroughly dominated the attack, which was reduced to pedestrian levels.
Hyderabad has been a happy hunting ground for Pujara as in his previous match against New Zealand he slammed a rollicking 159 here. Soon after the century, Pujara opened up and paid scant respect to the introduction of the new ball. Earlier, India began the post-tea session on 160 for one wicket with both batsmen on 73 runs. The bowlers toiled hard for two sessions without a wicket, despite tasting success early on when Peter Siddle sent Virender Sehwag (6 from 179 balls) back to the pavilion in the day’s fifth over. India leads the four-match series 1-0 after having won the first Test in Chennai by eight wickets.