Hyderabad: Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara recorded India’s highest-second wicket partnership against Australia on way to putting their team on top in the second Test at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here on Sunday.
Vijay (129) and Pujara (162) went through the grind in the morning session to end day two unbeaten on a 295-run stand with their team sitting pretty at 311 for one and a healthy 74-run lead. Virender Sehwag, the lone batsman to be dismissed during the day, departed cheaply after India resumed with an overnight score of five for no loss.
Australia apparently ran out of ideas after their fast bowlers kept things tight until lunch.
India’s spinners have made the difference so far in the series while their Australian counterparts have failed to make an impact. It was no different on day two here as Xavier Doherty (0/85) and Glenn Maxwell (0/55) looked far from threatening the powerful Indian batting.
Having said that, due credit should be given to Pujara and Vijay, who scored their second and fourth Test hundreds, respectively.
Surprisingly, Pujara was the aggressor in the monumental stand while the usually attacking Vijay showed more patience at the crease.
For Pujara, it was his second successive hundred at this ground after a 159 against New Zealand in the first Test match played at the venue in August last year.
The Saurashtra batsman stroked 25 fours and a maximum with an innings strike rate of 64.54. He brought his 150 by hooking Siddle for a six.
Vijay, on the other hand, batted out of his comfort zone. It was crucial for India to start the day well and, along with Pujara, he withstood the constant pressure by the Australian pacers.
He still ended up smashing 17 fours and a couple of big hits. More importantly, the timely hundred has given him breathing space in the competitive top-order. With Gautam Gambhir back amongst the runs in domestic cricket, the bulk of the pressure to perform is on Sehwag.
The best illustration of how the day panned out for India lies in these figures - 49, 106, 151 - the number of runs scored in the three sessions.