Lyon’s five-wicket haul and Head’s attacking batting help Australia end Day 2 on high
The second day of the second Test saw the host’s lower-order salvage their innings after Nathan Lyon’s damaging act.
Lyon (5/67) helped Australia reign supreme in the first half of the second day of the second Test, however, Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin inspired a brilliant rearguard action for India. Having been reduced to 66/4 and then 139/7 during the day’s play, India finished their innings merely one run behind Australia’s 263.
Australian batters showed positive intent in their second innings, finishing the day with 61/1 in 12 overs. After an unproductive outing in Nagpur, Nathan Lyon got back to top form in the second Test. The off-spinner unleashed his magic in the 17th over of India’s innings, trapping India vice-captain KL Rahul leg-before.
He was all over India’s top order after that snaring Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, and Shreyas Iyer in no time. Lyon took his fifth scalp in the form of India keeper Srikar Bharat, who ended up top-edging to first slip.
With this breakthrough, Lyon became only the third player to take 100 Test wickets against India after England’s James Anderson (139 wickets) and Muthiah Muralitharan (105 wickets).
Lyon’s 100 wickets include eight five-fors and have come at an average of 34.60. With 40 wickets in the country, Lyon has equalled Muralitharan to become the fourth-highest wicket-taker against India in India.
Ravindra Jadeja (26) provided a good hand to Virat Kohli for the fifth wicket. The duo added 59 runs before Jadeja was trapped leg-before by Todd Murphy.
At one stage the hosts were seven down while being 124 runs in deficit, but Axar (74) and Ashwin (37) joined hands to add 114 runs for the eighth wicket. This was the highest stand of India’s innings.
The left-right hand combination frustrated the opposition spinners even as India inched in closer to the Australia total.
India’s late-order fightback isn’t a new phenomenon. Since 2019, India’s tail (numbers 8-11) has added 2363 Test runs at an average of 18.6. They have four century stands, which is the most for any nation.