Second Test: Aussies lead by 62 after India's Axar hits 74

The hosts conceded a lead of one run but a key eighth-wicket partnership between Axar and Ravichandran Ashwin (37) closed the gap on Australia's first innings total after they slipped to 139-7

By AFP

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India's Axar Patel plays a shot during the second day of the second Test against Australia at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi on Saturday. — AFP
India's Axar Patel plays a shot during the second day of the second Test against Australia at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi on Saturday. — AFP

Published: Sat 18 Feb 2023, 3:41 PM

Australia took a precious lead against India on the second day of the second Test in New Delhi on Saturday.

The visitors were 61-1, at stumps, with Travis Head batting on 39 and Marnus Labuschagne on 16 after they had lost opener Usman Khawaja. The Australians lead by 62 runs.


Earlier, India's Axar Patel hammered a counter-attacking 74 before Australia bowled out the hosts for 262 with Nathan Lyon returning figures of 5-67 on an intense day.

The hosts conceded a lead of one run but a key eighth-wicket partnership between Axar and Ravichandran Ashwin (37) closed the gap on Australia's first innings total after they slipped to 139-7.


Skipper Pat Cummins finally broke the stand with the second new ball as the fast bowler got Ashwin caught with Matt Renshaw, a concussion substitute for David Warner, taking a good catch at square leg.

Cummins took a stunner at mid on to end Axar's brave knock off Todd Murphy and fellow spinner Matthew Kuhnemann ended the Indian innings in the final session.

Lyon led Australia's charge with four wickets to rattle India in the morning and then claimed his 22nd Test five-for in an afternoon session that saw a controversial dismissal of Virat Kohli.

Kohli was given out lbw by the umpire off debutant Kuhnemann and a review left it too close to call on replays whether the ball hit the bat or pad first, before tracking suggested a strike on leg stump.

Third umpire Richard Illingworth upheld the on-field decision, much to the surprise of Kohli, who went back dejected and was seen animated while watching replays in the pavilion.

Kohli had resisted the Australian spinners until his departure and put on a key fifth-wicket stand with Ravindra Jadeja, who fell to Murphy for 26.

But new man Axar seemed unfazed by the decision and India's dire position as he took stock and then hit back with a four and six off Kuhnemann.

He kept up the attack after tea and reached his second successive Test half-century, ably supported by Ashwin playing anchor.

The tourists overcame an early blow when a concussion ruled opener Warner out of the match following a hit on the head in his day one knock of 15.

Australia, who lost the opener of the four-match series, were bowled out for 263 after electing to bat first.

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