x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara worth cherishing for Murali Vijay

The young batsmen string together an unbroken 294-run stand to put India well ahead of Australia in the Hyderabad Test.

The outstanding batting of Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay put India in control of the second Test against Australia as they finished today on 311 for one, already 74 runs ahead.

Pujara was unbeaten on 162 while Vijay was not far behind on 129 after a day of delight for the watching India fans in Hyderabad as they shared a partnership of 294.

"A partnership like this doesn't happen all the time," Vijay said at a news conference at the end of Day 2. "We really cherished it. Pujara played very well."

India had begun slowly after Michael Clarke's surprising declaration on 237 for nine on Saturday night, resuming on five without loss and playing defensively.

After underperforming with the bat, Australia knew they needed to make early inroads and their hopes were raised when Virender Sehwag was caught behind by Matthew Wade off the bowling of Peter Siddle in the fifth over of the day to depart for six.

India did not seem unduly worried, though, as Vijay drove James Pattinson for four in the next over and Pujara clipped his first ball to the boundary.

Thereafter India dug in before the break and it was 18 overs until Vijay struck the next boundary, a lofted drive off Xavier Doherty.

Although Doherty did beat the bat on occasion, the closest Australia came to another breakthrough was a run-out appeal in which replays showed Pujara was comfortably home.

They made it through to lunch on 54 for one, but then stepped up a gear with Pujara's intentions particularly clear.

He struck three boundaries off a single Pattinson over early in the afternoon session while Vijay soon hit Doherty for six.

The Test debutant Glenn Maxwell's first over was a maiden and helped Australia stem the tide, but he gave up 31 off his next six overs as India dominated the rest of the session.

They added 106 runs to reach tea on 160 for one, but were still only warming up and the final session of the day saw them pile on 151 more, their unbroken partnership just six short of a 300-run stand.

Australia looked worryingly short of wicket takers, with Doherty the only man to even slightly unsettle either batsman as he found a little turn, but nothing they were not able to handle.

Vijay added that conditions were not easy and he expected the ball to continue to turn for the rest of the match.

"The wicket is playing spin but it is not consistent," he said.

"Some balls are coming and some balls are not. You've got to play. You can't take any spinner easy on this wicket."

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