2nd Test: Usman Khawaja and Tim Paine haul Australia through wicketless morning
Usman Khawaja batted his way to a very handy fifty before lunch. (Image: Cricket Australia)

The obdurate pair of Usman Khawaja and Tim Paine have batted Australia to a lead of 233 by lunch on day four in Perth, frustrating India through a wicketless morning session on Monday with exceptional powers of concentration.

From an overnight lead of 175, Australia added 58 runs in 30 overs. In this time, Khawaja moved from 41 to 67 and Paine was 37 from 111 balls at the lunch break. This wasn’t for the T20-weaned viewers.

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As you can assume from looking at the number of runs added today, it was a tough grind. Paine and Khawaja had some plays-and-misses, both when pushing and wafting, as the odd ball hit a crack and either stayed low or sprang up. Even Hanuma Vihari’s off spin had Paine feeling and missing, which will keep Nathan Lyon interested.

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Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma were the bowlers to beat the bat the most – the result of good seam position – but neither found a way to dislodge the batsmen. Umesh Yadav was decidedly ordinary, not able to consistently make the batsmen play. His lengths were either short of a length or full, but Umesh sprayed the ball too wide of the stumps to pose serious questions on a tough pitch. Kohli took him off after four overs.

Bumrah missed a throw to the stumps when Khawaja was 42 – which was the closest India came to taking a wicket all session.

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Khawaja got his fifty off 155 balls, a dour innings which has batted him back to a level of confidence. The left-hander got several deliveries that kept low, but his approach allowed the score to move on at a sedate pace which has suited Australia just fine. Crease occupation is the focus, with a target in excess of 250 looking extremely difficult on this Perth surface.

As the wicketless overs ticked on, Virat Kohli appeared more and more frustrated and was seen having a yap with Paine, whom he had been heard over the stump mics on Sunday giving a go to the Australian skipper. Paine’s defensive game was excellent, each ball played with the focus of a man hell-bent on shoving India out of the game.

Lunch: Australia 326 & 190/4 (Khawaja 67*, Paine 37*) lead India 283 by 233 runs