Brisbane Test: Smith, Rogers score fifties as Aus 221/4 at stumps

Brisbane: Steve Smith again proved the elusive wicket for India as the new captain led an Australian fightback on day two of the second Test on Thursday.  

Smith, who was not dismissed by India in last week's Adelaide Test win with scores of 162 and 52, continued to be the bane of the tourists with another defiant knock. His intuitive stroke-making was again a delight and he danced down the wicket to club spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for two sixes over long-on in one over. 

Play was halted due to bad light on the second day of the second cricket Test between India and Australia here today.

Steve Smith
Steven Smith plays a shot. Pic/ AFP

At the close, with a storm brewing, Australia were 221 for four in reply to India's 408 with Smith unbeaten on 65 and Mitchell Marsh on seven.

The Australians lost the wickets of David Warner (29), Shane Watson (25), Chris Rogers (55) and Shaun Marsh (32) in the final two sessions. Shaun Marsh, recalled as a replacement for injured skipper Michael Clarke, had registered six ducks in his previous 15 Test innings but Thursday looked to have overcome his series of poor starts. He had a big let-off on 32 when Ajinkya Rahane put down a sitter at leg gully off Varun Aaron in the 45th over. But he was out two overs later, caught by Ashwin in the slips off Umesh Yadav on the same score.

Rogers missed a chance to post a much-needed big innings when he was out in the over before tea. He raised his sixth Test half-century with a cut for four off Ashwin as he looked for runs in Brisbane after recent batting failures. But the 37-year-old left-hander dabbled at Yadav and gave a leg-side catch to keeper M.S. Dhoni.

It was a good middle session for India, who removed the dangerous Warner in the ninth over. Warner, who scored twin centuries in the Adelaide series opener, attempted to pull Yadav only for the ball to come off the top of his bat and pop up for Ashwin to take a comfortable catch running back from slip.

Watson looked at ease before losing concentration on 25 and finding Shikhar Dhawan in the deep, giving off-spinner Ashwin his first wicket.

- Australian record -

Debutant Josh Hazlewood captured five wickets and Brad Haddin equalled a wicketkeeping record as Australia dismissed India for 408 at lunch. Paceman Hazlewood led the way with three scalps on the second morning as the Australians bounced back after Wednesday's horror day in the field in sweltering conditions.

Haddin equalled the Australian record of six dismissals in an innings held by Wally Grout, Ian Healy and Rod Marsh with two more catches on the second morning. The Australians began the day well with two wickets in the opening 40 minutes before Dhoni and Ashwin regained the initiative with a belligerent seventh-wicket stand.

The pair put on 57 in equal time before Ashwin became Hazlewood's fourth wicket, playing away from his body and edging chest-high to Shane Watson at slip for 35.

Dhoni cracked 33 off 53 balls with four fours before he fell to the Hazlewood-Haddin combination. Hazlewood was far and away Australia's best bowler with five for 68, while left-armer Mitchell Starc continued to struggle with his line and length and was punished, going wicketless for 83 runs. Hazlewood struck early enticing an edge off Rahane with a late outswinger to give Haddin his fifth catch of the innings.

Rahane hit 81 off 132 balls with nine fours and put on 60 for the fifth wicket with Rohit Sharma. Smith pulled off a magnificent sprawling catch at second slip to dismiss Sharma for 32 off Watson in the 92nd over. Starc, whose body language was labelled "soft" by Test great Shane Warne during his TV commentary on Wednesday, again proved ineffective.


India 1st innings (Overnight: 311 for 4:

Ajinkya Rahane c Haddin b Hazlewood 81
Rohit Sharma c Smith b Watson 32
Mahendra Singh Dhoni c Haddin b Hazlewood 33
Ravichandran Ashwin c Watson b Hazlewood 35
Umesh Yadav c Rogers b Lyon 9
Varun Aaron c sub b Lyon 4
Ishant Sharma not out 1
Extras: (B-4, LB-1, W-2, NB-1) 8
Total: (all out in 109.4 overs) 408
Fall of wickets: 1-56, 2-100, 3-137, 4-261, 5-321, 6-328,
7-385, 8-394, 9-407, 10-408
Bowling : Johnson 21-4-81-0, Hazlewood 23.2-6-68-5, Starc 17-1-83-0, Marsh 6-1-14-1, Lyon 25.4-2-105-3, Watson 14.4-6-39-1, Warner 1-0-9-0, Smith 1-0-4-0.

Australia 1st innings:

Australia 1st innings:
CJL Rogers c Dhoni b Yadav 55
DA Warner c Ashwin b Yadav 29
SR Watson c Dhawan b Ashwin 25
SPD Smith* not out 65
SE Marsh c Ashwin b Yadav 32
MR Marsh not out 7
Extras (LB-1, W-3, NB-4) 8
Total (4 wickets in 52 overs) 221
Fall of wickets: 1-47, 2-98, 3-121, 4-208.
Bowling: I Sharma 9-0-47-0, VR Aaron 12-1-59-0, UT Yadav 13-2-48-3, R Ashwin 18-3-66-1.

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