Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill on Friday put on 70 runs for the opening wicket to give the middle-order batsmen a solid platform on the second day of the third Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Interestingly, it was India's first 50-plus stand for the opening wicket in 14 innings.
The visitors have struggled in recent times to find a solid opening pair, but the return of Rohit made it possible in the ongoing third Test as he combined beautifully with newcomer Shubman Gill.
The duo showed great composure against the fierce Australian bowling line-up and made sure they did not play any flashy shot outside the off stump. They followed the rulebook and ensured that the Australian bowlers erred in their line and capitalised on the bad balls.
Earlier, India survived the second session without losing a wicket after the bowlers brought the visitors back in the game to bundle Australia out for 338 with Steve Smith scoring his 27th century.
The second session saw the hosts add 89 runs and lose five wickets after resuming at 249/5.
Skipper Tim Paine, who came in to bat after Cameron Green's dismissal, failed to bother the scorers much as he was dismissed for just one run. Smith though continued the good work, scoring runs all around the park. Pat Cummins and Smith built a 23-run partnership in which only the latter contributed. Ravindra Jadeja removed Cummins for a 13-ball duck.
Mitchell Starc and Smith then had a valuable 32-run stand for the eighth wicket. Meanwhile, Smith smashed his first century of the series. Smith's 131-run knock studded with 16 fours finally came to an end with a run-out. The search for a second run cost Smith his wicket as Jadeja's direct hit from square leg saw him walking back to the pavilion.
Jadeja then sent Nathan Lyon back for a duck before debutant pacer Navdeep Saini picked Starc (24) to end Australia's first innings.
( With inputs from ANI )
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