IND vs AUS at SCG: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill set India Test record as visitors end Day two on a high
Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill put up 50-plus runs for the opening wicket during India’s innings in the ongoing third Test against Australia in Sydney on Friday.
Rohit and Gill shared a 70-run stand before the former got out on 26. It was India's highest opening partnership in Test cricket in the last 10 years in the SENA countries – South Africa, England, New Zealand, and Australia. India's previous highest opening stand in the SENA nations in the longest format was 63 runs, which was scored twice in the last decade. Abhinav Mukund and Gautam Gambhir put up 63 runs for the opening wicket at the Lord's Cricket Ground in 2011. The feat was repeated in 2018 when KL Rahul and Murali Vijay shared an opening stand of 63 runs at the Adelaide Oval.
After bowling out Australia for 338 on Friday at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), India were off to a great start, courtesy of Rohit and Gill. Rohit, who had missed the limited-overs leg and the first two Tests due to a hamstring injury, scored 77-ball 26, which included three fours and a six. The 21-year-old Gill, who made his Test debut in the Boxing Day game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) last year, registered his maiden half-century in Test cricket.
Unfortunately, the young batsman fell to Pat Cummins soon after touching the 50-run mark. En route his first fifty in Tests, Gill struck eight boundaries. At stumps of Day two, India were 96 for 2 and were trailing the Aussies by 242 runs.
Earlier, Steve Smith finally announced himself in the 2020-21 Border Gavaskar Trophy with an exceptional century, which was his 27th in the red ball game. He not only matched Virat Kohli's tally of 27 Test hundreds but also surpassed the Indian skipper's tally of 7,318 runs in Test cricket. Kohli has scored at an average of 53.41 in 87 Tests, Smith – who was recently named the ICC Men's Test Cricketer of the Decade – has scored 7,368 runs in 76* Tests at an average of 61.91.
While Kohli took 84 Tests to reach 27 Test centuries, Smith needed only 76 Tests. Overall, Smith is the second fastest cricketer to reach 27 Test centuries. Sir Don Bradman took only 70 innings to reach the landmark, in comparison to Smith's 136 innings, Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar's 141 innings.
Apart from Smith, debutant Will Pucovski and No. 3 batsman Marnus Labuschagne chipped in with crucial 62 and 91 to boost the hosts' innings.