India PlayOn the second at SCG, Steve Smith duly completed his century but Shane Watson missed his. Already in a commanding position, they found two more warriors on the second day of the final test. Shaun Marsh and Joe Burns frustrated the second-rate bowling attack from India and produced a 114-run fifth wicket partnership. After Joe Burns got out, Ryan Harris came to the crease and faced just 9 balls. He blasted 25 from these deliveries, including 19 from Bhuvaneshwar Kumar’s last over. The session after tea was already on and once Harris got out, Steven Smith decided to declare the innings at 572/7. That left India 25 overs to face on the second day. While they made 71/1 to end the day, India lost the wicket of Murali Vijay in the first over of the innings. However, KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma held their nerves to remain unbeaten. As India enter the third day, they are still 501 runs behind Australia and unless they bat with some responsibility, the chances of another test match defeat will remain high.

The second day of the Sydney test began with overnight not out batsmen, Smith and Watson continuing, from where they left off yesterday. After Smith faced a maiden over from Bhuvi Kumar, it was Watson’s turn to take on Mohammad Shami, who produced some good deliveries and yielded only 2 runs. Smith went into nineties by taking two fours off Shami in the 96th over and his century came in the 100th over bowled by Umesh Yadav. The captain hit a friendly full toss from Yadav between midwicket and mid-on to reach the three-figure mark. In the first hour of the morning, Australia added 48 runs in 14 overs. Soon after the drinks interval, Australia crossed 400 but lost Watson to a careless aerial shot off Shami that found Ashwin near the boundary. 15 runs later, Umesh Yadav removed Smith, when the skipper tried a loose drive to a ball pitched on the off-side without moving his feet. He was caught behind.

It was 415/4 for Australia and they had Shaun Marsh and Joe Burns out in the middle. After dismissing both overnight batsmen, Indian bowlers probably thought that they could run through the Australian innings, little realizing what lay in store for them. Marsh and Burn scored only 5 runs and yielded four consecutive maiden overs until lunch on the second day. When they came out after the break, they had acquired a different color as they began belting the Indian bowlers. The two batsmen went on and on, causing endless frustration to the bowlers. They took Australia past 500 in the 143rd over and completed their 100-run fifth wicket stand in the 145th. Considering that the declaration finally came in the 153rd over, the last 50 came in ODI style with Ryan Harris scoring 25 off 9 balls. The final score for Australia was 572/7.

India needed to face 25 overs left in the day as Murali Vijay walked in with a new opening partner Lokesh Rahul. India met with disaster straightaway, when Vijay shaped for a tired-looking stroke on the third ball of the innings. Mitchell Starc had bowled a slanted and wide delivery that didn’t deserve any wicket but Vijay looked lazy and loose as he managed a thin edge to the keeper. Rohit Sharma came to join Rahul and the two batsmen kept their heads down for the rest of the day, which ended with India reaching 71/1. Still 501 behind Australia, India will have look for safety as they come back on the third day morning.