Pujara continues imperious march towards double century on Day 2 of 4th Test
Cheteshwar Pujara continued his imperious march towards a double century on the second day of the fourth and final test against Australia on Friday, moving to 181 not out as the tourists reached an imposing 389 for five at lunch. Australia were largely frustrated in their hopes of making major inroads into India's batting order on another sunny morning at the Sydney Cricket Ground, even if they were able to remove Hanuma Vihari for 42.
Pujara, who added 51 runs to his overnight tally, was joined at the crease by Rishabh Pant, who will resume on 27 not out looking to help bat the home side out of a match India only need to draw to secure a first series victory in Australia. Centuries from Pujara at Adelaide and Melbourne helped India to the wins that gave them their 2-1 advantage in the series and the number three batsman gave the Australian attack virtually no chances to end his innings. The 30-year-old eked out runs at his now familiar pace in his now familiar style and reached the 150 mark with an extra cover drive for only the 18th four of his innings. That boundary also brought up the century partnership with Vihari but Australia soon had the breakthrough they had hoped would come a little earlier.
Vihari, who was moved down the order to replace the absent Rohit Sharma, shaped for a sweep shot off Nathan Lyon but only succeeded in nicking the ball off the bat to his arm and onto Marnus Labuschagne at short leg. The batsman reviewed the decision but the technology showed the slightest of contact with the bat and Vihari was gone having added just three runs to his overnight tally. Pant, who survived an Australian review of a caught behind appeal early in his innings, showed more inclination than Vihari to take the strike and had already built a 60-run partnership with Pujara by the end of the session.
(With inputs from agencies.)