Welcome to our live report of the second day of the Australia-India Test from Sydney. Join us for updates, analysis and colour. You can find our traditional ball-by-ball commentary here
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6.35pm local time/1.05pm IST: A tight last hour to stumps. Were India too slow?
Some really tight bowling from Starc, Lyon and Cummins ends the second day of this Test, with India trailing Australia’s 338 by 242 runs. The unbeaten partnership between Pujara and Rahane reads: 11 runs, 12.5 overs, run rate: 0.85. Now, the question is if the batsmen are being extra cautious by comprising the run rate on a flat pitch or are they seeing off some high-quality bowling and tiring out the bowlers without taking any risk? Sid Monga and Shiva Jayaram had a chat before calling it a day:
SJ: Start the strike rate debate…only five runs scored since Gill got out, in eight overs
SM: As if it is all the batsman deciding we will not score… quality of bowling has been supreme. They are assessing the risk involved. And now there is a patch from where the bounce is uneven.
SJ: The thing is with this quality of bowling, you will eventually get one with your name on it…not sure you can’t look to score singles at least.
SM: But for that you have to open the face or close the face more than they have been doing. And they believe that is too risky at the moment. This is how they have scored all the runs they have.
SJ: Pujara may be, not Rahane.
SM: See how risky this was (when Rahane stepped out against Lyon on 41.1 to whip the ball to deep midwicket). He got really lucky this didn’t go to hand
SJ: My point is that risk will almost always be there with this bowling..doesn’t matter how long you wait. Before long the ball might start reversing as well
SM: Last Test Rahane showed the risk was less after his slow start. McGrath saying it is a lush outfield so little chance of reverse (swing).
SJ: Arey he was dropped twice…after he got to his fifty I think..anyway..those conditions were different. This pitch is not doing as much.
SM: All the more reason for them to believe then that it will get easier to bat sooner than later.
5.35pm local time/12.05pm IST: Crisp half-century from Shubman Gill
After getting off the mark with a drive off Starc for four in the first over, Gill has looked more settled today compared to the MCG. He has left and defended off the back foot, scored briskly against Starc (13 off 18) and Nathan Lyon (13 of 15 when he reached 50) and displayed his trademark back-foot punch whenever the ball has been short. And unlike at the MCG where he was dropped twice before scoring 45, here he has looked more solid, aided slightly by the flat pitch and lack of movement. Update: Gill has fallen to Cummins soon after his fifty, edging to Green at gully for a sharp catch, leaving India on 85 for 2.
And Shiva Jayaraman shared this stat when Gill was on 27 off 68:
Shubman Gill has managed to leave more deliveries from the Australia pacers here, than he did in the entire MCG Test. One possible reason could be that the Australians have bowled a bit short at him, allowing him that split second to make that decision. Out of 17 leaves from Gill so far, 14 have been off balls pitched back of length or short. Only three of the 13 leaves in the MCG Test from Gill were off short balls.
4.50pm local time/11.20am IST: India’s opening stand crosses 50
Gnasher is keeping an eye on the one-on-ones:
Good contest bubbling up between Rohit Sharma and Nathan Lyon. He was content to play out a maiden against the offspinner to start with, but in his second over danced down and deposited him for a straight six. That was followed by a deft paddle-sweep for four. Lyon then responded with two more maidens, but Rohit was always itching to use his feet. A game of cat and mouse. As a little aside, Steven Smith continues to field at slip to the spinner. That had been some thought that it would be David Warner, who is managing his groin injury, to avoid too much work in the outfield but he has been stationed in the off side. For the quicks he’s standing at first slip.
And here’s Sid Monga:
Take out that 90-run chase in Adelaide, and this is the first fifty opening partnership of the series from any side. India’s first anyway. While these two batsmen have looked assured in defence and keen to cash in on scoring opportunities, it must be acknowledged that Mayank Agarwal did get a little unlucky. This is the flattest track of all three, and in the first 20 overs of the innings, India’s control rate is 86%. The quicks have been accurate but they have hardly managed to go past the outside edge because there is hardly any seam movement to deal with.
However, that is not how India will be thinking. Whoever is out in the middle is doing their job, and that is what matters for them. Chetehswar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane will love the prospect of batting against an older ball and tired bowlers. India will be looking at some sort of lead, at least 50-75 to cancel the disadvantage of batting last.
3.40pm local time/10.10am IST: How Smith stretched Australia
Here’s statsman Shiva Jayaraman as India go to tea at 26 for 0 after nine overs:
Australia’s innings fell wayside after that century stand between Labuschagne and Smith: they were 206 when Labuschagne was dismissed, and on 232 when Wade had that brain fade just before the new ball was due. After Wade got out, runs dried up at one end even as Smith played as only he can, at one stage adding 39 of the 40 runs Australian batsmen scored with the bat. Australia eventually added 106 runs after the fall of their fourth wicket thanks to Smith, who scored 71 of those runs. Smith’s contribution of 67% of runs after the fall of the fourth wicket is the fourth-highest for an Australia batsman in a Test innings since May 2001.
3pm local time/9.30am IST: Smith run-out, Australia all out
India’s bowlers could not dismiss Smith this time. It eventually takes a flat direct hit from India’s best fielder from the deep to find him short as Smith was collecting as many runs as he could with the tail. He was ramping and swatting Bumrah, scooping Jadeja, and manoeuvring the field to collect twos to add to Australia’s total and India’s frustration. While attempting another couple he fell short despite putting in a dive and went back for a fighting 131. Australia still collapse by losing eight wickets for 132 today, an effort India will be extremely pleased with. Jadeja started it with the twin wickets of Labuschagne (91) and Wade, before Bumrah’s burst with the new ball (7-3-12-2) opened up the tail and Jadeja took two more to wrap things up. So 338 for Australia and out walk the India openers for a few overs before tea.
Smith speaks to Fox Cricket after his century: “I’m reading lots of things people say about out of form, but think there’s a difference between out of form and out of runs so it was just nice to score a few and maybe keep a few people quiet.”
2.10pm local time/8.40am IST: Smith gets to his 27th century
After spending what might have felt like a lifetime in the late 90s, Steven Smith reaches his 27th Test hundred, his eighth against India, and his third at the SCG. He whips the ball to leg (where else) and returns for two, takes his helmet off and points his bat to the dressing room before acknowledging the applause from this limited crowd at the ground. Here’s Gnasher from the SCG:
Amid Australia’s collapse, Steven Smith has his first Test century in Australia since late December 2017. Of course he missed an entire season but, still, it’s been a while. After two lean Tests it is a welcome return to normal service – it was always unlikely he would be quite down for too long. He has batted at a nice even tempo with his game looking in good order and Australia will be grateful for every run he can manage from here on. He’s certainly enjoying batting at the SCG this season: he scored two 62-ball centuries here during the one-day series.
1.45pm local time/8.15am IST: Bumrah with the new ball: 7-3-12-2
After 19 wicketless overs since yesterday, Bumrah had the second new ball and he now has these figures in this spell: 7-3-12-2. With the new ball he has accounted for Cameron Green and Tim Paine in similar fashion: teasing them outside off with a hint of away movement or those that hold their lines and then suddenly bringing one in sharply for an lbw or bowled. He actually started with this new ball well outside off and Smith was leaving him rather easily, but Bumrah gradually started to tighten his line which led to the two dismissals. Not only that, he has also dried up the runs as the tail has opened up with Pat Cummins joining Steven Smith.
12.35pm local time/7.05am IST: Bumrah strikes with the new ball
After what was appearing to be Australia’s session in the first hour, India have fought back strongly with three wickets in a two-and-a-half-hour session. The third wicket of the morning is Bumrah’s first of the innings, with the ball only four overs old. He has been bowling with a lot of zip and pace with the new Kookaburra, getting some away movement and good carry as well. Bowling to Cameron Green, who was dismissed in similar fashion against Siraj at the MCG, Bumrah gets to nip one back in sharply from good length and traps Green right in front for a 21-ball duck. India will have their tail up after the break with the ball new, and they’ll be so pleased with that session, and Australia a bit disappointed.
Australia 249 for 5 at lunch.
12.10pm local time/6.40am IST: Wade throws it away again
Here’s Gnasher again:
Second time in three innings that Matthew Wade has been out attacking the spinner. In the first innings at the MCG he lofted R Ashwin to midwicket and now here he has picked out mid-on against Ravindra Jadeja. There is a fine line between being aggressive and being reckless. Wade was clearly intent on taking on Jadeja. Just a handful of overs before the second new ball you need to ask if it was a wise choice. Cameron Green is now potentially exposed to that challenge.
Twelve of the 16 balls Wade faced were from Jadeja and Wade was clearly looking to dominate him; sweeping him regularly (although three of those struck Hanuma Vihari at short leg) and hitting him for two fours. But this approach of stepping out and producing a leading edge won’t sit nicely with the Australian management. Here’s what Ricky Ponting said on Channel Seven:
“Matthew Wade needs to have a lot more game awareness, as far as I’m concerned. In a situation like that, Matthew Wade has been opening in the last couple of Test matches so the new ball is not going to faze him. But what he’s done by getting out is expose Cameron Green to the new ball, a guy in his third Test, and for mine that is just not thinking enough about the situation of the game. We talk about game awareness, understanding what’s happening in the game. There was a phase there that Matthew Wade had to make sure he was there when the new ball came out.”
P.S. After 80 overs, India have taken the new ball with Australia 245 for 4. Sid Monga observes:
When the new ball was taken, Steven Smith had faced 142 balls and left alone only seven balls. Only one of those leaves was outside off, that too to spinner Jadeja. With the second new ball, though, there seems a shift of plans. There were straight leaves first up. The field seems to have moved to off, and the line has got wider. India looking to test him more traditionally now.
11.55am local time/6.25am IST: Rahane’s safe hands
Gnasher chimes in as well, from the SCG:
So Australia are still waiting for their first century of the series (over to you, Steven Smith). Labuschagne could hardly believe it when he edged Ravindra Jadeja to slip. He is a player with big hundreds to his name, including a double-hundred on this ground a year ago against New Zealand. A word, too, on the catch from Ajinkya Rahane that removed him. It was a very sharp effort to a chance that came off an almost horizontal bat which are especially tough for slip catchers off spinners. The India captain is one of the best around in that position.
11.20am local time/5.50am IST: India get the breakthrough
Marnus Labuschagne was looking solid as ever. He wasn’t giving any chances, he was threading the gap between square leg and backward square leg and driving so well. And now when there is spin from both ends, he gets a thick edge to Rahane at first slip to fall nine short of a hundred. Here’s Gaurav with a wonderful stat and observation:
Indian bowlers have been outstanding since 2018. Only seven centuries have been scored against them in this period across all conditions. Their planning and execution makes it very hard for batsmen to score freely. Oppositions need a lot of patience to score against this kind of an attack. For the Australian batsmen since 2018, it’s been extremely hard. Across six Tests before this one, the highest individual score made by an Australian batsmen was 79 by Marcus Harris in Sydney in 2019. Labushagne went past that score with a solid innings but could not convert it into a century. Smith, meanwhile, has crossed 50. Can he get to triple-figures? Time will tell
Australia 213 for 3 now as rain comes back after a brief session of play.
10.45am local time/5.15am IST: Drizzle arrives but what’s India’s Plan B?
The odd ball is sitting up on the batsmen and it’s mostly been Smith at the receiving end. There was one in the first over of the day that got his glove and surprised him, another a few overs later rose on him from just short of good length and Smith gave the pitch a stare with a few words.
Meanwhile, India seem to be relying heavily on the leg-side plan for the fast bowlers. Smith and Labuschagne have not left a single ball outside off this morning yet and are being made to play almost everything with a packed leg-side field. It’s because there’s no assistance for the bowlers in the pitch and they’re waiting for the batsmen to either miss one and be trapped lbw or hand a catch to one of the fielders on leg, which now includes Rohit Sharma at silly mid-on for Siraj. The question is, what is India’s Plan B because soon it will be an hour without a wicket. Bumrah has been replaced by Ravindra Jadeja meanwhile from the eighth over of the day, and now a slight drizzle has taken the players off.
10.05am local time/4.35am IST: Siraj starts day two
There was a lot of chatter around how Mohammed Siraj got emotional during the national anthem yesterday before play. He said in the press conference that he was remembering his later father, who died while the bowler was in Australia and didn’t go back home.
Siraj also starts the second day, mainly bowling at the stumps with only one slip, but a backward square leg, square leg and short midwicket in place, and even has Steven Smith to glance one fine with a bit of a bounce. Jasprit Bumrah’s first ball, meanwhile, is overpitched and driven handsomely for four by Smith. The sun is out, pitch good for batting, Australia are already closing in on 200.
9.50am local time/4.20am IST: More doubts over Brisbane
Good morning all! Welcome to the second day of the SCG Test. I didn’t mean to start off on this note but it now appears that the BCCI has written to Cricket Australia that India will not be able to travel to Brisbane for the final Test of the ongoing series if they will have to undergo another round of hard quarantine. Get all the details here, by Nagraj Gollapudi.
At the SCG, meanwhile, the sun is coming out, says Gnasher who also has an update on Brisbane:
There’s a bit of developing news regarding Brisbane, the location for the final Test, with the city going into a three-day lockdown after a person tested positive for the UK strain of Covid-19. We don’t yet know if that will have an impact on this series – there have been plenty of discussions between CA and BCCI over the hotel quarantine situation.
Vishal Dikshit is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo