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Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay put India in control of second Test as Australia"s struggles continue in Hyderabad

India take stranglehold on the second Test as Australia's struggles continue in Hyderabad

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

12:21 GMT, 3 March 2013

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UPDATED:

12:24 GMT, 3 March 2013

The outstanding batting of Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay 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 after Michael Clarke's surprising declaration on 237 for nine last night, resuming on five without loss and playing defensively.

In Control: India's Ravindra Jadeja celebrates with Virat Kohli after the dismissal of Australia's Matthew Clarke

In Control: India's Ravindra Jadeja celebrates with Virat Kohli after the dismissal of Australia's Matthew Clarke

After underperforming 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 India 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.

They made it through to lunch on 54 for one, but then stepped it up a gear with Pujara's intentions particularly clear.

Struggling: Australia's Shane Watson walks back to pavilion after his side were bowled out for 237

Struggling: Australia's Shane Watson walks back to pavilion after his side declared at 237

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 overs 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 and the final session of the day saw them pile on 151 more, their unbroken partnership worth 294 by the close.

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 are not to let this Test get away from them as the series opener did in Chennai.

India drop Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh for final Test v England in Nagpur

India drop Yuvraj, Zaheer and Harbhajan ahead of do-or-die final Test in Nagpur

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UPDATED:

10:17 GMT, 9 December 2012

Dropped: Yuvraj

Dropped: Yuvraj

India's selectors have responded to their seven-wicket defeat against England in Kolkata by dropping three of their squad for the final match of the series starting in Nagpur next week.

From the third Test XI batsman Yuvraj Singh and seamer Zaheer Khan have been dropped, while spinner Harbhajan Singh – who played in the 10-wicket defeat in the second Test in Mumbai – is also out of the squad.

Called up in place of the trio are all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, seamer Parvinda Awana and leg spinner Piyush Chawla.

The timing of the announcement in the immediate aftermath of another humiliating defeat is bound to raise further questions over the leadership of the side, with captain MS Dhoni coming under increasing pressure from the country's media.

India are trailing the four-match series 2-1 and need to win in Nagpur to avoid defeat.

Dhoni made it clear after the defeat that he was happy to defer to the wisdom of the Board of Control for Cricket, but that he relishes the opportunity to try to put his team back on track.

'The selectors are here to decide,' said the wicketkeeper-batsman.

'It's always fine to lead a side when they're doing really well, and everyone's performing.

'But that's not the time when you need a leader.

'Leading a side is all about (doing it) when the team is not doing well, trying to gel them together, back the youngsters and the senior guys.

'The easiest thing for me to do right now is to give up the captaincy and be part of the side, because that's just running away from the responsibility.

Off the pace: Zaheer Khan has been replaced by Parvinda AwanaOff the pace: Zaheer Khan has been replaced by Parvinda Awana

Off the pace: Zaheer Khan has been replaced by Parvinda Awana

PICTURE DISPUTE

We are unable to carry live pictures from the third Test in Kolkata due to a dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and international news organisations.

The BCCI has refused access to Test venues to established picture agencies Getty Images and Action Images and other Indian photographic agencies.

MailOnline consider this action to be a strike against press freedom and supports the action to boycott BCCI imagery.

'I have to get the team together, and be prepared for the next Test match.'

Dhoni does not believe either that India are at their lowest ebb in his tenure, citing instead whitewash defeats away to both Australia and England.

'We were not really able to compete (then).

'We know what our faults are here, and I think we should be able to rectify them.'

He believes a lack of collective productivity among India's frontline batsmen in back-to-back defeats in Mumbai and Kolkata is the main problem.

'I think the batting order will have to take the responsibility.

'We need to score more runs, on a very good wicket to bat on like this.

'Of course, the bowlers will bowl a few good deliveries that you need to keep out.

'But in the top seven, most of us need to score at the same time to give the bowlers a par total to defend.

'Otherwise, it's very difficult and you find yourself under pressure.'

England boil over in defeating Sri Lankan Board XI

England boil over as Sri Lankan Perera refuses to walk in Colombo

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UPDATED:

21:22 GMT, 17 March 2012

England opened their tour with a
convincing victory by an innings and 15 runs against a Sri Lankan Board
XI at the Premadasa Stadium.

However, the match was overshadowed
by an ugly incident in Saturday's afternoon session which saw captain
Andrew Strauss and several of his players involved in a heated row with
both umpires and opposition batsman Dilruwan Perera.

Flashpoint: James Anderson lets Dilruwan Perera just how he feels

Flashpoint: James Anderson lets Dilruwan Perera just how he feels

It followed a passage of play which had seen Perera edge a James Anderson delivery to first slip.

To the naked eye, the catch looked good as Strauss dived forward to scoop the ball up into his hands.

Yet Perera, a 29-year-old off-spinner
who has played four one-day internationals, insisted the ball had not
carried and, after consultation between Sri Lankan umpires Ravindra
Kottahachchi and Ravindra Wimalasiri, he was reprieved.

It led to an unsavoury confrontation
involving England's players, led by Strauss, Perera and both umpires,
which threatened to boil over.

Marching on: England celebrate as they cruise to victory in Sri Lanka

Marching on: England celebrate as they cruise to victory in Sri Lanka

Anderson later admitted a valuable
lesson has been learned about cricket in the subcontinent, where
suffocating humidity and slow wickets can often see tempers rise in
direct correlation with the temperature.

'It was just frustrating,' he said.
'With Straussy being the honest upstanding citizen that he is, he
wouldn't lie about something like that. You have to take his word on it
and the other slip and keeper thought he'd taken it, too.

Full stretch: James Anderson attempts a catch against the Sri Lanka Board XI

Full stretch: James Anderson attempts a catch against the Sri Lanka Board XI

'Add the heat into it and it was a
good lesson for us. Situations like that are going to be hard to deal
with in the Test matches and we have to deal with them well.

'You're working very hard to take
wickets, and seamers aren't going to bowl a huge amount of overs in a
spell, so when you get someone out, it is frustrating to have it taken
away.

In form: Steven Finn shone for England

In form: Steven Finn shone for England

'We could have handled it better but I'm sure it's something we'll talk about.'

The argument, which took place with
their opponents in a hopeless position on 63-7, shows how seriously
England are taking these warm-up games before their two-Test series
against Sri Lanka, which starts in Galle on Monday week.

It is also evidence of the burning
desire among England's players to set the record straight following
their humiliating 3-0 Test series whitewash against Pakistan in the UAE.

There were numerous positives to take from the Colombo game.

The runs of Alastair Cook, whose
unbeaten 163 allowed England to declare on 303-8 overnight, and wickets
yesterday for a previously out-of-sorts Graeme Swann were two, while
Anderson finished with match figures of 7-40 as the Sri Lankan Board XI
were bowled out for just 119 in 56.4 strength-sapping overs.

Jadeja and Ashwin hold their nerve and guide India to victory over Sri Lanka

Jadeja and Ashwin hold their nerve and guide India to victory over Sri Lanka

India survived a late scare to hang
on for a Virat Kohli-inspired four-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the
Commonwealth Bank Series match at the WACA Ground.

India seemed to be cruising to their
target of 234 – at one point needing just 77 runs off 98 balls to win
with seven wickets in hand – before they lost three for 24 in a middle
order collapse which saw them slump to 181 for six.

Close call: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (left) attempts to run out Angelo Mathews

Close call: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (left) attempts to run out Angelo Mathews

But all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja hit 24 off 28 balls and tail-ender Ravichandran Ashwin added 30 off 38 to steady the ship with an unbeaten 53-run seventh wicket stand to guide India home with 20 balls to spare.

In-form batsman Kohli had earlier set them up for victory with an impressive 77 off 94, but he ran himself out at a crucial stage of India's innings and injured himself in the process.

Kohli required assistance to leave the ground with an apparent left leg injury suffered while diving to avoid the run out.

Still waiting: Sachin Tendulkar stuck on 99 centuries

Still waiting: Sachin Tendulkar stuck on 99 centuries

Sachin Tendulkar also played an important role in India's chase but again fell short of his 100th international century, dismissed after looking at ease through most of his innings when he chopped the ball onto his stumps for 48 off 63.

The 38-year-old's quest for his
100th ton has now gone on for nearly a year and has included six one-day
international innings and 21 Test knocks.

But along with Kohli and a vastly improved bowling performance,
Tendulkar still helped to lead India to their first win of the
tri-series in a big confidence boost for their struggling side.

Sri Lanka always faced an uphill battle after they were restricted to
233 for eight by excellent bowling spells from Ashwin, who took three
for 32 off 10 overs, and paceman Zaheer Khan, who took two for 44.

Youngster Dinesh Chandimal (64 off 81) was the best of Sri Lanka's batsman, while Angelo Mathews' 33 not out off 28 helped lift a run-rate which had been poor for much of the innings in the latter overs.

Despite the best efforts of
all-rounder Mathews, who took two for 30 off 9.3 overs and the rest of
Sri Lanka's bowlers, their modest total gave them little hope of winning
in Graham Ford's first game in charge.

Sri Lanka have now won just two of their 16 50-over games at the WACA, a
record they will be desperate to improve in Friday's match against
Australia.

After losing
struggling opener Virender Sehwag for four early in their chase, India
soon recovered through Tendulkar and Kohli's 75-run stand before Mathews
dismissed the 'Little Master'.

He's gone: India's Virat Kohli lies on the pitch after being run out

He's gone: India's Virat Kohli lies on the pitch after being run out

Kohli and Rohit Sharma then guided the score to 122 before the latter fell for 10 to a spectacular Tillakaratne Dilshan catch off Thisara Perera's bowling.

After Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni fell in consecutive overs, their chase hit a major hurdle when Kohli was comfortably run out while attempting a suicidal single to put his side in big trouble.

But Jadeja and Ashwin showed great composure and guided India to victory in front of a crowd of 6685.