2nd Test, Day 2: Nathan Lyon runs through top-order, leaves India at 88/4 at lunch
Australia’s premier off-spinner Nathan Lyon ran through the Indian top order to leave the hosts at 88/4 in 35 overs, trailing the visitors by 175 runs at lunch on day two of second Test at the Arun Jaitley Stadium on Saturday.
It was a session in which Australia burnt all of their reviews, but Lyon put them on top by picking all four wickets through varying his speed and getting a bit of turn to bamboozle the Indian top order. For India, Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja are unbeaten on 14 and 15 respectively and have looked assured at the crease.
Resuming from 21/0, openers K.L. Rahul and Rohit Sharma had to negotiate a turn from debutant left-arm spinner Matthew Kuhnemann and captain Pat Cummins finding some movement too. Realising he had enough of defending, Rahul danced down the pitch and timed his lofted whip over long-on for six of Kuhnemann to perfection, just after he survived an lbw appeal.
After burning a review on trying to get Rahul out via lbw off Kuhnemann, Australia again lost a review on attempting to get the right-handed opener dismissed in the same fashion, this time off the bowling of Cummins.
Lyon, replacing Kuhnemann and bowling from round the wicket, instantly got success when he trapped Rahul lbw, rapping him low on the front pad. Cheteshwar Pujara, walking out to bat in his 100th Test, danced down the pitch to flick off Lyon. But he missed it and was trapped lbw.
Replays later showed that if Australia had taken the DRS, Pujara could have been out for a golden duck. Rohit timed his sweep well off Kuhnemann, but in the next over, he was clean bowled by Lyon through a quicker delivery which straightened and skid to hit the stumps.
Two balls later, Lyon had another scalp when he got one to turn back into Pujara and hit the front pad below the knee roll. After umpire Nitin Menon rejected the appeal, Australia took the review immediately and got Pujara out for a seven-ball duck as replays showed the ball clipping the leg stump.
Australia burnt their third and last review when they couldn’t get Shreyas Iyer out lbw off Todd Murphy as replays showed the impact was outside off-stump. But in the next over, Lyon took his fourth wicket as Iyer flicked off the backfoot straight to forward short leg, who took the catch to his right after being hit on the arm.
Kohli, who got a huge roar from his home crowd, defended well against the spinners apart from bringing his trademark flick off Kuhnemann. Jadeja, on the other hand, was also solid in defence while taking boundaries off Lyon through cover and wide of slip, to take India to safety at lunch.
Brief scores: Australia 263 lead India 88/4 in 35 overs (Rohit Sharma 32, Virat Kohli 14 not out, Ravindra Jadeja 15 not out; Nathan Lyon 4-25) by 175 runs