Steven Smith completed his century © Getty Images
Steven Smith completed his century © Getty Images

India and Australia faced off on Day Two of the first Test at Adelaide. After the first day was shared, it was all Australia on Day Two. Shiamak Unwalla looks at some of the highlights of the day’s play.

Michael Clarke braves though the pain: Michael Clarke had to leave the field on Day One after scoring 60, but walked out to bat with Steven Smith on Day Two. He was clearly nowhere near fully fit, but kept batting despite the obvious discomfort. He started the day with a boundary off Mohammed Shami, and kept up a similar tempo throughout the rest of his innings. He was finally out late in the day, having scored a pain-filled but incredibly brave 128 off 163 balls.

Steven Smith plays the innings of his life: Smith was batting well on Day One before a flurry of wickets at the end threatened to leave him stranded. In company with Clarke, however, he took his already impressive innings up a couple of notches. Smith scored the first runs of the morning; an aggressive slash through point off Ishant Sharma. He continued on his way, scoring runs everywhere and hitting boundaries almost at will. Once the players came back for the third time after a weather interruption, he went absolutely berserk. He hit Varun Aaron for three boundaries in one over, and followed up by hitting Mohammed Shami for another couple of boundaries in the very next over. He eventually scored his maiden Test 150-plus score, and remained unbeaten on 162 at Stumps.

Weather plays spoilsport: Only 30 overs were bowled on a day that saw frequent interruptions, first due to rain, and later due to poor light. It was enough for Australia to score 163 for the loss of a solitary wicket. Despite the overcast conditions though, the pitch remained a beauty for batting. Clarke and Smith made the Indian bowlers pay for their wayward bowling, and despite the numerous starts and stops, their rhythm and fluency remained unaffected.

India’s bowlers dig their own graves: The first ball Ishant Sharma bowled was short and wide, and was duly cut away for four through point. Shami started the day with a maiden over, but the first ball of his next over was another friendly short and wide delivery that was dispatched for four more. The first five overs of the day yielded 27 runs. That trend continued for all 30-odd overs bowled. The Indians kept pitching it short and wide — or full and on the pads — which allowed Clarke and Smith to make merry. Unless the Indian bowlers manage to find some discipline, the leather hunt is likely to continue all series.

(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and cricket fanatic. You can follow him on Twitter @ShiamakUnwalla)