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Sports

Cummins takes two as India close gap on Australia

  • But Cummins finally got the wicket he deserved when Gill got a nick with a loose shot and Paine took a simple catch.
Published December 27, 2020
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MELBOURNE: Pace spearhead Pat Cummins removed Shubman Gill and dangerman Cheteshwar Pujara to pile pressure on India who trail Australia by 105 after the opening session of day two in the second Test Sunday.

On a steamy and overcast day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, India resumed on 36 for one in reply to Australia's first innings 195, having weathered a torrid 11 overs Saturday when they lost Mayank Agarwal for a duck.

At lunch, they had clawed to 90 for three, with captain Ajinkya Rahane not out 10 and Hanuma Vihari on 13. Superstar Virat Kohli is not playing, having returned home for the birth of his first child.

In an action-packed morning, the Australian attack consistently hit its line and length to cause problems for an India side looking to level the series after crashing by eight wickets in Adelaide last week.

The world's number one Test bowler Cummins was chief destroyer, bagging impressive debutant Gill for 45 and the experienced Pujara for 17, leaving him with figures of 2-26.

He signalled his intent with the first ball of the day, which zipped past Pujara's bat. Captain Tim Paine called for a review, believing it took a nick, but replays showed it was not out.

Gill, who had a life early in his innings on Saturday, survived another scare in the first over he faced with wicketkeeper Paine at fault, failing to hold a difficult catch off Josh Hazlewood.

Both bowlers were beating the bat, but the luck ran India's way and Gill and Pujara brought up their 50 partnership, no mean feat after the team collapsed to 36 all out in Adelaide, where no batsman reached double figures.

But Cummins finally got the wicket he deserved when Gill got a nick with a loose shot and Paine took a simple catch.

It was a composed knock by the 21-year-old, who added 17 to his overnight score after being preferred as opener to the axed Prithvi Shaw.

Cummins wasn't done, and bowling his seventh straight over removed Pujara, again enticing an edge with Paine making no mistake, holding a brilliant diving catch at full stretch as India lost two wickets for three runs.

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