IND VS AUS: Green scores maiden ton, Khawaja closes in on double hundred as Australia reach 409/7

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IND VS AUS: Green scores maiden ton, Khawaja closes in on double hundred as Australia reach 409/7

Friday, 10 March 2023 | PTI | Ahmedabad

IND VS AUS: Green scores maiden ton, Khawaja closes in on double hundred as Australia reach 409/7

Cameron Green completed a well-deserved maiden hundred while Usman Khawaja inched closer to a double ton as Australia remained in control by reaching 409 for 7 at tea against India on the second day of the fourth Test here on Friday.

Green, the giant 6 feet 8 inch all-rounder, who missed the first two Tests due to a finger surgery, played an attractive knock of 114 off 170 balls. His innings was laced with 18 boundaries.

More importantly, he let Khawaja (180 batting, 421 balls) play his own game during their 208-run fifth-wicket stand, which has put Australia in a commanding position.

After back-to-back barren sessions, Ravichandran Ashwin (4/83 in 41 overs) got three wickets for India but with Khawaja at the crease, a total of more than 450 is very much on the cards.

During the post-lunch session, only 62 runs were added and the reason being the second new ball getting softer.

Green, who punched Jadeja through cover point to complete his first Test hundred was out to a smart reflex catch down the leg-side by Kona Bharat, who otherwise has had a forgettable outing.

Alex Carey (0) was a victim of having to sit with his pads on for close to 60 overs while Mitchell Strac didn't hang around for long.

Khawaja, however, was in no tearing hurry as he added only one boundary to his previous 20, during the session.

In the morning, Khawaja continued his grind while Green blended attack with defence during a session that yielded 92 runs.

The Indian bowling unit struggled big time on a good batting track as the Australians dictated terms both on attacking as well as defensive front.

Not for once the batters looked in any kind of discomfort on a track that has remained firm and hasn't shown any distinct signs of wear and tear.

Having leaked a lot of runs with the second new ball on the first evening, India captain Rohit Sharma couldn't afford setting an attacking field as he had to check the flow of runs.

Hence, a deep point, deep square leg and deep fine leg were employed to stop the boundary count. But with a left-right pair at the crease, the bowlers had to alter the length as the two kept the scoreboard ticking.

Umesh Yadav (0/105 off 25 overs) for the second day in a row was profligate and paid the price as Green launched on a juicy full-toss and a half-volley, driving them past the mid-off fielder.

Against Ashwin, he got on to the backfoot and drove through the point region.

Mohammed Shami (2/102 in 28 overs) tried the bouncer tactic but the slowness of the track allowed Green all the time in the world to play the pull shot.

Khawaja, at the other end, despite batting on century plus didn't deviate from his plans as he tucked Yadav off his hips to the square leg boundary, steering him through the vacant slip region.

The 150 came with a pull shot off Shami and the frustration in Indian players' body language was palpable.

It also didn't help that Kona Bharat, rated highly by this team management, had another awful day behind the stumps. His technique while keeping up to the spinners looked a bit faulty as he was getting up too early.

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