Dharamsala opened up to its scenic beauty yet again as the 2nd day of the last Test got underway at the HPCA stadium. The series so far has been a see-saw battle with the advantage swinging from one end to another like a pendulum and yet again, the 1st session was a perfect showcase of just that. KL Rahul and Murali Vijay were to be exposed to the fresh, early bit of moisture that fast bowlers like Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood were looking to exploit and both the parties did not disappoint.
While Hazlewood, the re-incarnation of Glenn McGrath did not disappoint with his impeccable probing line and length just around the off stump, looking for that lateral movement for the slips and LBW to come into play, Pat Cummins was relying more on the swing that was offered. The battle between Hazlewood and Vijay was an absolute delight to watch as both of them weren’t stopping what they were doing quite consistently. While Vijay kept continuously leaving those balls probing just around the off stump, Hazlewood was relentlessly persisting with the same line and length. Eventually, the self-discipline of Murali Vijay gave away and Hazlewood finally managed to nick him to Wade with a delivery that just about nipped off the pitch.
One wicket generally leads to another but Matt Renshaw ensured that Pat Cummins went unrewarded in this session. Bowling it full and nipping away at off stump to Rahul, it went flying towards Renshaw at 1st slip but he seemed to have totally missed the pace of the ball and fluffed what would have been an entry into the middle order for Australia.
A fine session of Test cricket and let’s just hope that the 2nd session lives up to the even battle that underwent in the 1st session today. While Australia will be looking to make in-roads in the middle order, India will be well aware now that the new ball threat has been averted, patience is the key to thwart away the danger that Australia have and ticking away finger spinners like O’Keefe and Lyon shouldn’t pose much of an issue.