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Rahul fighting as India loses three wickets for 105

Saturday, Mar 4, 2017,12:41 IST By joji A A A

Bengaluru | Australian spinners have already taken control of the Indian batting line-up by picking up three top order wickets even as opener KL Rahul continued his fight with a half century to help a cautious India reach 105 for three in the second cricket Test here today.

Resuming after lunch, India lost the wicket of Captin Virat Kohli, who was trapped lbw for 12 runs by Nathan Lyon. Rahul was an unbeaten on 60, helping India recover from the early loss of Abhinav Mukund, who was picked at the last minute in place of an injured Murali Vijay, and Cheteshwar Pujara.

Off-spinner Nathan Lyon’s dismissed Cheteshwar Pujara in the 28th over, just before lunch, at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Coming off a humiliating defeat in Pune, India trail the four-match series 0-1.

While a confident Australia took off from where they left in the last game, removing Mukund for a duck in the day’s third over.

Pace spearhead Mitchell Starc was the one who gave the visitors the initial breakthrough, as he trapped the batsman who figured in the playing XI after a gap of five and a half years.

Rahul and Pujara (17) added 61 runs in 25 overs to steady the innings.

However, Lyon sent back Pujara when he got an inside edge and the ball lobbed up for Peter Handscomb to complete a catch at forward short-leg, tilting the scales slightly in favour of Australia after the first session’s play.

Pujara did not look very comfortable during his stay in the middle, while luck smiled on Rahul, who got a reprieve on 30 by Handscomb.

Rahul faced 93 balls and struck eight boundaries during his stay in the middle.

Earlier, India skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat.

Australia have named an unchanged XI, while India have brought in Mukund and Karun Nair. Mukund is making a comeback to the Test side after five and a half years, replacing Vijay, who suffered a last-minute shoulder injury.

Nair, who had scored a triple century in his last Test, also got a chance after India decided to drop Jayant Yadav for an extra batsman.