Cheteshwar Pujara continued to bat unperturbed with all that happened in the middle to score a fine unbeaten half-century © PTI
Cheteshwar Pujara continued to bat unperturbed with all that happened in the middle to score a fine unbeaten half-century © PTI

KL Rahul maintained consistency in getting half-centuries but also falling right after the milestones, as India reached 153 for 2 at tea on the second day of their fourth and final Test against Australia at Dharamsala. On the other hand, Cheteshwar Pujara continued to go about his business with familiar traits of composure and skilful excellence and brought up his unbeaten half-century. Australia managed to topple Rahul shortly after his fifth score in excess of 50, and also challenged India’s 33rd captain, Ajinkya Rahane, with short stuff in the initial stages of his innings. However, India did well to reach a strong position by the end of the second session.  FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs Australia, 4th Test at Dharamsala

As expected, India upped the ante in the second session with Rahul leading the charge. Pujara joined him too, but not after starting off cautiously post lunch. Rahul picked one outside off to send it flying over the midwicket boundary for a six, and followed it up with a boundary each in the next two overs to complete his fifth half-century in the series. With this feat, Rahul also became the first Indian opener to score five fifties in a Test series. This was when Australia brought Cummins and thus began an interesting tussle. Full Cricket Updates, India vs Australia 2017, 4th Test at Dharamsala, Day 2

The first ball of the spell produced an outside edge off Pujara’s bat which fell short of the slips. The next ball, faced by Rahul, saw the batsman playing in the air on a half volley but the ball dropping short of the extra cover fielder. A short ball followed next, which took an edge and fell safely on the ground.

Cummins then came on for his next over and started off with a wide ball, which Rahul cracked towards point to start off aggressively. By then, Cummins had already started chatting with the batsman, who really did not look much involved but perhaps allowed the words to affect him. In the next over from Cummins, Rahul played a dot ball which was short. Cummins spoke a few words and it affected Rahul. He fell on the next delivery while chasing it outside off, trying to pull it towards midwicket but was too early into the shot.

The ball hit the toe end of the bat and flew straight towards extra cover, where Warner completed the dismissal.

Rahane defended the first ball but on the next, he attempted a similar stroke on a short delivery which has resulted in his dismissal in India’s only innings in the Ranchi Test. This time, the ball passed close to the bat and there was no connection.

Interestingly, Rahane did not back away when he pulled the next short ball for his first boundary, signalling that he was ready to deal fire with fire. Luck favoured the Indian captain once again when a top edge off the next ball flew over the men behind for a six.

Amid all this, Pujara went about his job with usual composure and notched up yet another fine innings. He picked up singles at ease while Australia looked to dry up the runs, and did not shy away from putting the bad balls for boundaries. A certificate of how good Pujara is in reading the match situations was provided when he decided to take on Cummins all by himself, not expose his captain who was ready to reply in similar fervour.

India trailed by 147 at tea.

Brief scores:

Australia 300 (David Warner 56, Steven Smith 111, Matthew Wade 57; Umesh Yadav 2 for 69, Kuldeep Yadav 4 for 68) lead India 153 for 2 (KL Rahul 60, Cheteshwar Pujara 53*, Ajinkya Rahane 19*; Josh Hazlewood 1 for 31) by 147 runs.