Rohit Sharma once again threw away a good start as India rookie bowling attack helped the visitors restrict Australia on 369 on a rain-affected second day of the fourth and final Test in Brisbane on Saturday. Heavy thundershowers followed by damped outfield prevented the action from resuming post the tea break as India finished Day 2 at 62/2 as they still trail by 307 runs.
The day began with India's inexperienced bowling attack putting up a valiant effort as they sclaped the remaining five Australian batsman for 95. Shardul Thakur, debutants Washington Sundar and T Natarajan provided India with the breakthroughs in the first session of the second day.
All the three bowlers finished the innings with three wickets each, while Mohammed Siraj got one on the opening day.
Meanwhile, Nathan Lyon (24 off 22 balls) and Mitchell Starc (20 off 35 balls) counter-attacked the inexperienced Indian attack with a brisk 39-run partnership to take Australia past 350-run mark. Resuming the innings from their overnight score of 274/5, Australian skipper Tim Paine (50) and Cameron Green (47) extended their stand to 98 before the hosts encountered a mini-collapse.
Paine was the first man to depart after Thakur bowled a fuller delivery, shaping away from the batsman and Paine's lazy drive without going to the pitch of the delivery saw Rohit Sharma take a regulation catch at the second slip. Shortly after that Green too lost his composure as Sundar cleaned up the Australian all-rounder with a peach of a delivery. Pat Cummins (2) was adjudged leg before as he yorked himself to a fuller delivery from Thakur as Australia slumped from 311 for five to 315 for eight before the tail wagged once again to beef up the total.
Among the Indians, Shubman Gill for the first time in the series failed to get to double figures as he was dismissed by Pat Cummins on 7. However, Rohit maintained his reputation and entertained everyone with his elegant drives before Nathan Lyon, who is playing his 100th Test, enticed him to come down the track but the half-chip-half-loft was safely pouched by Mitchell Starc in the deep.
Cheteshwar Pujara (8) and Ajinkya Rahane (2) added only two runs in the 6.1 overs before the break. There were six boundaries from Rohit but he did not fiddle at deliveries in and around the off-stump channel even as Cummins and Josh Hazlewood bowled a testing spell under overcast conditions.
The shot of the session came after Rohit executed a beautiful on-drive off Cummins, which came after a streaky boundary through the slips in the same over. Another delightful stroke was an off-drive off Cameron Green as 49 runs were added for the second wicket.
with PTI inputs