Brisbane, Dec 19:
A blistering unbeaten 104-run partnership between captain Steven Smith (batting 110) and Mitchell Johnson (batting 67) took Australia to 351 for six, trailing India by 57 runs at lunch on day three of the second Test at the Gabba here Friday.
The Australians seemed to be in a spot of bother when overnight batsman Mitchell Marsh (11) and wicketkeeper Brad Haddin (6) were dismissed early in the session. But a breathtaking counter-attack from Smith and Johnson, who scored 104 runs in just 84 balls, wrestled the momentum away from the Indians.
Australia scored 130 runs in the session losing two wickets in the process. It started out as India’s best bowling session of the match and ended up as their worst.
The visitors began with discipline, attacking the channel outside off, and were rewarded with two early wickets. Ishant Sharma clean bowled Mitchell Marsh and then Varun Aaron got Haddin with a perfectly executed bouncer tactic. That, however, seemed to turn a switch in India, and they began bowling short balls indiscriminately, and Johnson feasted on them and ran away to a 37-ball half-century.
Smith moved to his second century of the four-match series as well, as India’s 187-run lead at the start of the day shrunk to 57. The Indian pacers stepped over the line with their aggressiveness and were made to pay dearly, especially Johnson. The left-hander carted the Indian bowlers all over the ground, smashing 10 fours and a six in his innings of 67 from 53 balls.
Smith took more calculated risks but was just as punishing to take his team to a strong position at the end of the session. (IANS)