Kohli fronts up with stellar resistance in delicately poised second Test

2nd Test Virat Kohli Ajinkya Rahane Lead India

"I was pretty happy to see the pitch the way it is", India captain Virat Kohli said.

After falling short by 31 runs in Adelaide, captain Tim Paine still has plenty of concerns about an inexperienced lineup, although Australia named an unchanged side for the test with struggling opener Aaron Finch retaining his place.

The 30-year-old skipper had no right to strut, but strut he did.

Mitchell Starc blew apart the stumps to dismiss Murali Vijay for a duck, while a lovely yorker by Josh Hazlewood after the meal bowled KL Rahul.

Kohli played some glorious strokes early to get the scoreboard ticking over, scoring 19 off his first 12 balls to hold off the pressure Australia had applied.

LUNCH BREAK | So, it is time for lunch on day two.

Kohli's 90-run partnership with Ajinkya Rahane (51 not out) saw the visitors turn the tide on day two as they finished up at 3/172.

The captain's superb knock had fans singing his praise on social media.

Even though the four-test series started in nail-biting fashion, ticket sales have reportedly been sluggish with just 20,000 spectators expected on a scorching opening day with temperatures set to hit 38 degrees Celsius.

Kohli was tested by none other than spinner Nathan Lyon on 22, when he almost fell a big-spinning Lyon delivery that only just missed his stumps. There was also a series of plays and misses against Australia's pace attack.

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But all in all, Kohli looked in control, combining with Cheteshwar Pujara to drag India out of trouble with a 74-run stand.

Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane scored half-centuries in the final session of Day 2.

Finch lived dangerously at times and narrowly survived successive lbw appeals early in his innings, one of which cost India a DRS review, to notch his second Test half-century.

But at Optus Stadium on Saturday there was no underplaying the importance of one individual, whose ongoing attritional battle with arguably the world's best attack has the potential to decide the contest.

Finch put his poor first Test performance behind him, reaching his second Test fifty with the help of six boundaries as he and Harris batted through the morning session.

The hosts won the next round.

According to Cricviz, the Indian vice-captain scored at a rate of 7.12 off short deliveries, distributing the runs between boundaries and strike rotations.

Watch with interest - Lyon may well out-bowl his quicker counterparts.

Rahane hit six fours in 103 and had the honour of hitting the first Test match six at the new venue.

Nathan Lyon (9 not out) stayed unbeaten for the third innings in a row as he added quick-fire 16 runs with Mitchell Starc to push Australia to a healthy total on a tough wicket.

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