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Kohli, Rahane’s fifties take India to 172-3 at stumps

New Delhi: After India lost their openers cheaply, skipper Virat Kohli struck a blistering unbeaten knock of 82 runs and he was well-supported by Ajinkya Rahane who showcased a brilliant batting display to help the visitors reach the score of 172-3 at stumps on the second day of the second Test at the Perth Stadium on Saturday.

In reply to Australia’s first-innings total of 326, India got off to a worst possible start to their innings as they lost openers KL Rahul (two) and Murali Vijay (duck) inside eight runs.

 

First drop Cheteshwar Pujara (24) along with skipper Virat Kohli then combined to steady India’s innings as the duo notched up a crucial 74-run partnership for the third wicket before the former was caught behind the stumps by Australian skipper Tim Paine off Mitchell Starc’s delivery.

Kohli, who also struck his 20th Test half-century during the innings, then joined forces with Rahane and shared a huge 90-run stand between them to put India in a decent position at the end of the second day’s play.

At stumps, Kohli and Rahane were standing strong at their respective scores of 82 and 51, with India trailing by 154 runs with seven wickets in hand.

Mitchell Starc bagged two wickets while conceding 42 runs, while Josh Hazlewood also chipped in with a wicket.

Earlier, resuming at the overnight score of 277-6, Paine and Pat Cummins failed to survive for long and were dismissed for 38 and 19, respectively. Australia lost their last four wickets for 16 runs.

Opener Marcus Harris was the top scorer for Australia with 70 runs, while Travis Head (58), Shaun Marsh (45) and Aaron Finch (50) also made significant contributions.

Ishant Sharma was the pick of the bowlers for India for his figures of four for 41. Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav and Hanuma Vihari all finished with two wickets each in Australia’s first innings.