Dharamsala: Opener Lokesh Rahul looked infine nick as India made a cautious start, reaching 64-1 in their first innings at lunch on the second day of the fourth and final cricket Test here today.
Rahul was unbeaten on 31 in company of another in-form batsman Cheteshwar Pujara (22 batting) adding 43 runs for the unbroken second wicket stand. The only batsman to be dismissed was Murali Vijay (11).
The Indian team began slowly during the first hour but courtesy Rahul picked up the tempo during the second hour as they ran well between the wickets and also punished the loose deliveries.
Rahul, who hit five boundaries in 75 balls during the session, was at his elegant best once again. The first boundary was an inside out cover drive off Nathan Lyon. He did survive a nasty Pat Cummins delivery that flew past the slip cordon.
After initial period of caution, he did take some risks – uppishly sweeping Lyon for a boundary as run flow was stopped by the Australian bowlers.
When Cummins bowled one into his ribs, he nicely tucked one off his hips to fine leg boundary. The shot off the day was an on-drive off Cummins that raced to the fence.
Pujara was solid as ever at the other end not taking any undue risks. He teed off with a cover driven boundary off Josh Hazlewood and took singles at will.
When Steve O’Keefe was brought into the attack, he came down the track to hit a cover drive.
Hazlewood (1/16 in 8 overs) and Cummins (0/22 in 10 overs) bowled an impeccable line in the first hour. Especially Hazlewood, who bowled the perfect length on the off-stump getting it to move a shade away.
Vijay hit a flowing cover drive off Hazlewood and got another off the bowler even though it wasn’t a controlled shot.
But Hazlewood had found his channel by then and was able to hit a few visible cracks from which the deliveries were deviating away. A faint nick was gobbled up by Matthew Wade with Hazlewood getting his first wicket. PTI
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