Steve Smith and Shubman Gill made headlines on the day two of the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The match, after many mini-battles, is evenly poised at the moment.
Steve Smith scored his 27th Test century, his 3rd at the Sydney Cricket Ground while Shubman Gill scored his maiden Test half-century in another tantalizing and thrilling day of Test cricket. Australia started the day, once again strongly, at the score of 166-2 after day one was truncated because of rain. Australia dominated the most of the day before a late surge from Indian bowlers led by Ravindra Jadeja as India go through the Aussie batsmen ending their innings at 338.
After another century stand in the Australian innings, this time by Steve Smith and Marnus Labuchagne, it looked that the hosts were on set to set a big first innings lead, but the visitors didn’t let them do so. The collapse that was ignited by Ravindra Jadeja after he got Labuchagne and the rest of the wickets were all out at the score of 338 with Smith becoming the last of the batsman to be run out, courtesy another brilliant piece of fielding and throwing by Jadeja.
Australia started the day strongly but India fought back
After a truncated opening day at the Sydney Cricket Ground, the Australians started the day at 166-2 with two of their best batsmen resuming the innings. Steve Smith and Marnus Labuchagne started the innings and added another fifty runs to the tally.
Both the batsmen were on song before Ravindra Jadeja started a collapse. A length ball on the off-stump that probably bounced a bit higher got the edge that was taken at the slip by Ajinkya Rahane. Labuchagne got out on 91.
After the wicket, there wasn’t much respite from the Australian batsmen as the next four batsmen only contributed 14 runs to the task. If you take Mitchell Starc out of the equation, who contributed with 24 precious runs, the remaining six batsmen, including bowlers, only contributed 15 runs to the tally with Cameron Green, Pat Cummins, and Nathan Lyon got out on 0 while Tim Paine, the Australian captain got out on 1.
However, there was one man who was keeping the scoreboard ticking and keeping hopes high for the hosts, that man is Steve Smith. Scoring runs with each of his batting partner. Smith scored his another century, 27th of his career and 3rd at his favorite ground, SCG.
Smith added 23 runs with Josh Hazlewood, the number 11 batsman, before a brilliance from Ravindra Jadeja in the field. Smith wanted the second run after the ball had gone to the square leg but a brilliant one-handed pick up and direct hit from Jadeja, find Smith short of his crease and he is run out at 131.
Australia ended their first innings at 338 runs.
Ravindra Jadeja led the bowling efforts with his four wickets while Jasprit Bumrah and the debutant, Navdeep Saini grabbed a couple of wickets each.
Sharma-Gill started well, Pujara-Rahane ended well
Indians had to come strong to give themselves any chance to threaten the Australian side. With Rohit Sharma returning to the Test side after getting injured in the IPL, the hopes were high. And he didn’t disappoint.
Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill (now one Test match old) started the innings well. The opening stand worth 70 runs before Sharma was the first to go after popping the ball back straight to Josh Hazlewood. Probably, he missed the chance of scoring a big hundred. However, Gill was firm on the crease.
After Sharma was dismissed for 26 runs, Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara continued the innings. The two added another 15 runs together before Gill was the next to be dismissed. Soon after scoring his first Test half-century, he was caught at gully. Score, 85-2.
After that, India had 13 overs to survive and they survived without any further loss.
Defense and defense had kept Australians on the bay. Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane finished the day with India trailing by 242 runs.
Day two ended at the score of 96-2 by Indians.