On the second morning of the Delhi Test, Nathan Lyon’s spectacular burst of spin bowling, which left India reeling at 88/4, well short of the visitors’ first-innings total, propelled Australia back into the Border-Gavaskar Test series. With a performance that had the stats 9-1-21-4, the seasoned offspinner claimed each of the four Indian wickets that were lost. Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja were left with the task of reducing India’s deficit on a track with substantial turn and variable bounce.
KL Rahul was defending with his bat and pad when Lyon struck in his second over of the day. In the DRS age, such approach is no longer effective, and even the Indian vice-optimistic captain’s assessment couldn’t save him. Up until that point, Pat Cummins’ first pitch had been quite weak, so Rahul and opening partner Rohit Sharma had started off rather confidently. Rahul, who was gaining self-assurance, even stepped out to score six by launching Matthew Kuhnemann over long-on.
Lyon exploded into rage after making his breakthrough. Next, with a shot that followed an angle and was maintained slightly low, he castled the Indian captain. The best part of the dismissal was how Lyon beat an assured-looking and in-form hitter in the air and trapped him on the crease with his flawless length. In his 100th Test, he then replaced Cheteshwar Pujara with a duck. A review revealed that the ball had struck the pad before the bat while Pujara, like Rahul, had defended by keeping his bat and pad near to one another. He was then told to move on. When Australia decided against a review in the previous over, Pujara, incidentally, had survived a similar shout.
Lyon also managed to secure a fourth wicket, largely because to short leg fielder Peter Handscomb. When the ball struck Handscomb in the stomach while Shreyas Iyer was trying to shift it to the leg side, he had the foresight to anticipate and hang on to a catch.
Australia had a fantastic session overall, with their questionable reviewing being the only flaw. They destroyed all three of their DRS reviews, but given the danger Lyon and company plan to inflict, they might still get away with it.
Short scores: India 88/4 (Rohit Sharma 32; Nathan Lyon 4-25) is outscored by 175 runs as Australia 263 (Usman Khawaja 81, Peter Handscomb 72*; Mohammed Shami 4-60) leads by 175 runs.
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