Cheteshwar Pujara is dejected as he is dismissed by Cameron Green.© AFP
The Indian top-order collapsed yet again even as the Australian attack overcame a comeback partnership by Ravindra Jadeja and Ajinkya Rahane to take firm control of the WTC final on Day 2 at the Oval in London on Thursday. At the close of play on Day 2, India had posted 151/5 at The Oval on Thursday. KS Bharat (5*) and Rahane (29*) were unbeaten at the crease as the stumps were drawn at the end of the final session. India started the final session at 37/2, with Cheteshwar Pujara (3*) and Virat Kohli (4*) unbeaten in the middle. India reached the 50-run mark in 13.4 overs.
Pujara looked confident, smashing Green for a four. But a few overs later, the bowler had the last laugh as he struck timber that had been left exposed by Pujara, sending him back for 14.
Virat continued building the innings with Ajinkya Rahane, as the Indian dressing room set its turnaround hopes on them.
But Virat fell for 14 to a Mitchell Starc delivery, which reared up from a length and hit the batter’s glove. The catch went straight into Steve Smith’s hands at the slip cordon. India were reduced further to 71/4.
Following this, Rahane resumed the innings with Ravindra Jadeja. Jadeja looked to be in fine fettle, striking some elegant drives. He took India to 100 in 24.5 overs.
The duo marched to a 50-run partnership with their positive intent.
Half of India’s line-up was inside the hut, however, as Jadeja was dismissed for 48 off 51 balls after edging a Nathan Lyon delivery to Steve Smith. India was 142/5 and the 71-run partnership with Rahane was broken.
KS Bharat came to the crease at the fall of Jadeja’s wicket and he and Rahane took India to the 150-run mark on the final ball of the day.
Despite a comeback by Indian pacers, Australia strengthened their position in ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final as they dismissed both Indian openers in the second session of the second day of Thursday after scoring 469 runs.
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