India crawl to 90-3 at lunch, day 2 against Australia

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Australia’s pace bowler Pat Cummins made two early breakthroughs on Sunday as India edged to 90-3 at lunch on the second day of the second cricket test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Resuming on its overnight score of 36-1 in reply to Australia’s 195, India trails by 105 runs on the first innings with seven wickets in hand. Stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane is 10 not out with Hanuma Vihari on 13.

Midway through Sunday’s opening session, India looked to be fighting through a difficult period without further loss. Shubman Gill (45) and Cheteshwar Pujara (17) extended their second-wicket partnership to 61, before the relentless Cummins (2-26) struck in successive overs.

On a seam-friendly pitch and in overcast conditions, the 21-year-old Gill refused to be dominated, hitting eight boundaries.

Gill offered chances on four and 28, before an ambitious drive led to his dismissal caught behind off the bowling of Cummins at 61-2.

Cummins pounced again in his next over, removing the patient Pujara caught behind after a defiant 70-ball knock. Tim Paine completed a spectacular catch diving in his right glove, after the skipper had been unable to hold onto a difficult chance earlier off the inside edge of Gill.

Rahane was joined by Vihari at the crease as India tried to rebuild its innings in the absence of its best batsman and captain Virat Kohli, who has returned to India to be with his wife for the birth of their first child.

Rahane and Vihari have added 26 for the fourth wicket in challenging batting conditions.

Australia won the toss and batted on Saturday. Test cricket’s top-ranked batsman Steve Smith made a duck, before Travis Head (38) and Marnus Labuschagne (48) shared an 86-run stand for the fourth wicket. Their departures triggered a collapse of seven wickets for 71 runs as India's bowlers took the first day honors.


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