Vijay leads way for India

2014-12-17 06:49
Murali Vijay (AP)

Brisbane - Indian opener Murali Vijay got his third half century of the series but debutant Josh Hazlewood took two wickets as Australia restricted the tourists to 151 for three at tea on the opening day of the second Test in Brisbane on Wednesday.

Vijay had put on 56 in an opening partnership with Shikhar Dhawan and survived a period of intense pressure on a sweltering day at the Gabba to remain at the crease unbeaten on 72 after the second session with Ajinkya Rahane, who was 13 not out.

Hazlewood's first wicket may have been fortuitous, with Cheteshwar Pujara adjudged caught behind for 18 even though TV replays clearly showed the ball had clipped his helmet, but his second was all about pace and bounce.

The 23-year-old, whose inclusion was one of three changes to the Australia side from the first test win, tempted Virat Kohli into attempting a cut and the erstwhile India skipper was caught behind for 19 after only managing a thick edge.

Vijay and Dhawan (24) had earlier vindicated returning captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's decision to bat first when they survived some early movement to post India's first half century opening stand on the road in more than three years.

All rounder Mitchell Marsh made the breakthrough with his maiden test wicket in the following over, however, when Dhawan slashed at a short, wide delivery and Brad Haddin snaffled up the top edge behind the stumps.

Vijay reached his ninth test half century with crunching drive through the covers for four and things looked bleak for Australia when Marsh was forced off the field with a right hamstring problem.

Steve Smith, who was presented with a blazer before the start of play to signify his becoming Australia's 45th Test skipper as a stand-in for the injured Michael Clarke, got the response he wanted from his players, however.

The fielding went up a gear and the bowlers stifled the Indian batsmen to the extent that they were only able to add 62 runs in the second session to their lunch score of 89-1.

Australia won the first test in Adelaide by 48 runs at the weekend to take a 1-0 lead in the four-match series, which was re-jigged in the wake of the death of Phillip Hughes and concludes with tests in Melbourne and Sydney.

Read more on:    murali vijay  |  cricket


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