AUS vs IND 2nd Test Day 2 Review: Rahane stands tall with commanding ton as India amass vital lead

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After their scathing reply to Australia in Day 1 of the Boxing Day test, India’s probing effort to level the series continued with another impressive day’s play. The visitors nudged ahead with the lead on a cloudy day at the MCG. Ajinkya Rahane registered his 12th hundred and remains unbeaten alongside Ravindra Jadeja.

Shubman Gill’s tryst with luck extended into the second day as well. Marnus Labuschagne had dropped the debutant early on in his innings right before the end of Day 1. Josh Hazlewood was successful in finding the edge but none were carried much to the anguish of the Aussies.

Pat Cummins was finally able to get the breakthrough with the wicket of Gill as the debutant missed out on a fifty by five runs. The pacer struck again in his very next over by dismissing Pujara. Tim Paine grabbed a one-handed stunner behind the wickets to spell early trouble out for the Indians.

Stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane walked out at No.4 and saw the session out with Hanuma Vihari. Starting from 90-3, Vihari was the first wicket to fall in the second session. Nathan Lyon induced a soft dismissal to send back the batsman for 21.

Rishabh Pant’s introduction to the crease saw an increase in the scoring rate. The wicket-keeper batsman seemed comfortable at the crease but fell right before the end of the session as Paine introduced Starc into the attack. The left-arm speedster scalped the wicket with the very first ball of his spell with Pant looking to lash a delivery well outside off leading to an edge.

Soon after the departure of Pant, which ended the 57-run stand for the fifth wicket, Rahane brought up his half-century. Joined by all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja as his fourth partner for the day, Rahane pushed India past Australia’s first innings total of 195.

Rahane received a second life after his edge was spilled by Steve Smith at second slip, denying Starc an immediate impact with the new ball.

The pair negotiated the threat posed by the bright red cherry with ease as the lead slowly piled up. The stand-in skipper’s love for MCG continued as he notched his second century in three Tests at the venue.

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