Ajinkya Rahane reached his 12th Test century from 195 balls
|Second Test, Melbourne Cricket Ground (day two)|
|Australia 195: Labuschagne 48; Bumrah 4-56, Ashwin 3-35|
|India 227-5: Rahane 104*, Gill 45; Starc 2-61|
|India lead by 82|
Stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane’s brilliant unbeaten century gave India control of the Boxing Day Test against Australia on day two.
Rahane, leading India in place of Virat Kohli who has returned home for the birth of his first child, made 104 not out from 200 balls in Melbourne.
He shared an unbroken stand of 104 with Ravindra Jadeja as India closed on 277-5 with a lead of 82.
Rahane was dropped on 73 and again on 104 on a frustrating day for Australia.
Pat Cummins took two quick wickets in the morning session, having both debutant Shubman Gill (45) and Cheteshwar Pujara (17) caught behind.
India were 64-3 but Rahane battled through conditions in the bowlers’ favour, batting patiently before increasing his scoring rate late in the day against the second new ball.
The 32-year-old put on 52 with Hanuma Vihari, 57 with Rishabh Pant and found an excellent partner in all-rounder Jadeja, who ended the day 40 not out.
There has already been enough assistance for both the seamers and spinners to suggest India will be strong favourites should they extend their lead beyond 100 on day three, as they bid to level the four-Test series at 1-1.