Pujara and Vijay batter Australia
Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay’s outstanding batting put India in control of the second Test against Australia as they finished day two on 311 for one, already a lead of 74 runs.
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.
They had begun slowly following Michael Clarke’s surprising declaration on 237 for nine last night, resuming on five without loss and playing defensively.
Having underperformed with the bat, Australia knew they needed to make early inroads and their hopes were raised when Virender Sehwag fended behind off 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, the hosts 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.
India made it through to lunch on 54 for one, but then stepped it up a gear with Pujara’s intentions particularly clear.
He struck three boundaries off a single Pattinson over early in the session while Vijay soon hit Doherty for six.
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 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; the final session of the day saw the addition of 151 more, Pujara and Vijay’s unbroken partnership worth 294 by the close.
The former brought up his fourth Test century with a guide to third man for two before accelerating and moving beyond 150, while the latter lofted Doherty down the ground to reach three figures and maintained his composed approach thereafter.
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.
The tourists will need to find a way to fix that tomorrow if they not are to let this Test - the second of four - get away from them as the series opener did in Chennai.