No Kohli, no problem as Rahul leads strong Indian reply against Australia

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No Kohli, no problem as Rahul leads strong Indian reply against Australia
India's Lokesh Rahul (left) and Murali Vijay run between the wickets during the second day of their third Test against Australia in Ranchi. (AP)

Ranchi - No Kohli, no problem as Rahul leads strong Indian reply against Australia


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Published: Fri 17 Mar 2017, 3:53 PM

Last updated: Sun 19 Mar 2017, 12:05 AM

Indian captain Virat Kohli didn't lead the team to the field when the second day's play of the third Test against Australia began on Friday morning. Kohli injured his shoulder while fielding on the first day and later had to undergo a scan.
There was massive speculation in Indian media on whether Kohli would take any further part in the rest of the match. But the Indian board issued a statement in which it said the star batsman hadn't suffered a serious injury and that he would bat at his number 4 position.
But Kohli wasn't required to put his on pads on the second day of this fascinating encounter as opener Lokesh Rahul struck a fluent half-century to lead a strong Indian reply after Australia skipper Steve Smith's marathon knock helped the visitors post a formidable 451.
The hosts were 120 for one at stumps in Ranchi, with Murali Vijay (42) and Cheteshwar Pujara (10) batting at the break.

India still trail the visitors by 331 in their first innings.
Earlier, Smith's unbeaten 178 was the bedrock of the tourists' innings which also featured a maiden Test century by all-rounder Glenn Maxwell.
In reply, Rahul (67) showed resolve against a probing Australian pace attack before falling to Pat Cummins on a sharp rising delivery that got the batsman's gloves for an easy catch to the wicketkeeper.
Rahul, who hit 9 fours in his 102-ball stay, registered his fourth fifty of the series to put on 91 runs with opening partner Vijay.
After Rahul's departure, Vijay took control with Pujara for company as the duo played out the rest of the day with some assured stroke-making.
Josh Hazlewood and Cummins, who is making a return after playing just one Test for Australia, back in 2011, worked up good pace on what still seems a decent batting wicket.
Earlier, with Australia resuming the day on 299-4, Smith and Maxwell put on a 191-run partnership to help the tourists post the biggest innings total so far in the four-match series.
Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane stood in for Kohli in what remains a crucial Test for the hosts. Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja claimed his eighth five-wicket haul in his 29th match to return with figures of 5-124.
Jadeja ran out last man Hazlewood (0) to deny Smith the chance of posting the second double century in his 53rd match of his career.
Smith though registered the highest score by an Australian captain on Indian soil after surpassing Michael Clarke's 130 in Chennai in the 2012-13 series.
But it was the 28-year-old Maxwell who set the tone for Australia's continued dominance with his first Test ton in just his fourth game since making his debut in 2013.
The series between the world's top two sides is tantalisingly poised at 1-1 with India needing at least a draw to have any chance of winning back the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. 
Australia 1st innings
M. Renshaw c Kohli b Yadav 44
D. Warner c&b Jadeja 19
S. Smith not out 178
S. Marsh c Pujara b Ashwin 2
P. Handscomb lbw b Yadav 19
G. Maxwell c Saha b Jadeja 104
M. Wade c Saha b Jadeja 37
P. Cummins b Jadeja 0
S. O'Keefe c Vijay b Yadav 25
N. Lyon c Nair b Jadeja 1
J. Hazlewood run out (Rahul/Jadeja) 0
Extras (b9, lb11, nb2) 22
Total (all out, 137.3 overs) 451
Fall of wickets: 1-50 (Warner), 2-80 (Renshaw), 3-89 (Marsh), 4-140 (Handscomb), 5-331 (Maxwell), 6-395 (Wade), 7-395 (Cummins), 8-446 (O'Keefe), 9-449 (Lyon), 10-451 (Hazlewood)
Bowling: Sharma 20-2-70-0 (2nb), Yadav 31-3-106-3, Ashwin 34-2-114-1, Jadeja 49.3-8-124-5, Vijay 3-0-17-0
India 1st innings
L. Rahul c Wade b Cummins 67
M. Vijay not out 42
C. Pujara not out 10
Extras (lb1) 1
Total (1 wicket; 40 overs) 120
Fall of wickets: 1-91 (Rahul)
Bowling: Hazlewood 9-2-25-0, Cummins 10-1-22-1, O'Keefe 10-3-30-0, Lyon 11-0-42-0
Still to bat: V. Kohli, A. Rahane, K. Nair, W. Saha, R. Ashwin, R. Jadeja, I. Sharma, U. Yadav

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