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Australia vs India: Visitors stare at loss in second Test

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India ended the fourth day’s at 112/5 in their pursuit of 287 in the second Test in Perth on Monday.

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Hanuma Vihari was unbeaten on 29 while and Rishabh Pant took 19 balls for his nine runs as play ended with the Australians needing five wickets to level the series.

Having set a total of 287, India got off to the worst possible start with KL Rahul being dismissed in the very first over bowled by Mitchell Starc. Rahul was trapped in two minds and had decided to leave the ball. But he failed to withdraw his bat in time to send the ball crashing onto the stumps.

Australia got the in-form Cheteshwar Pujara two overs later when a delivery from Josh Hazlewood got steep bounce outside the off-stump and Pujara, while trying to counter it, could only manage to glove it to Tim Paine behind the stumps.

The Indians restored some sort of parity in what was a chaotic batting show so far through a 35-run stand between skipper Virat Kohli.

Just when it looked that the duo are laying a platform for a strong batting show to follow, the hosts got the big one in the form of Kohli, who offered a catch to Usman Khawaja by edging a delivery outside the off-stump.

The next one to bite the dust was opener Murali Vijay whose string of poor performances continued after Lyon disturbed the leg-stump of the Tamil Nadu batsman.

But deputy Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari arrested the slump to some extent with a 44-run stand but Rahane became Hazlewood’s second victim when he was undone by a brilliant catch at point by Travis Head.

Earlier, Paine and co dragged the Australian innings from 172/4 to 243. Mohammad Shami starred with six wickets while Bumrah scalped three wickets.

Brief scores: India 112/5 (Ajinkya Rahane 30, Hanuma Vihari 24*,  Josh Hazlewood 2/24) trail Australia 326 and 243 by 175 runs.

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