Ashwin builds dot-ball pressure to ensnare Head

It has taken him 146 balls, but Usman Khawaja has reached a half-century, his third in the series. The southpaw has read the conditions well, and knows that there is not going to be that unplayable gem with his name on it. So he can apply himself in the middle, and wait for the loose balls, which have been few and far between. Australia have reached 128 for 2, with runs coming quicker in the second hour of the second session. The Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad has dished out a decent batting surface so Khawaja and Steve Smith would be eyeing daddy hundreds.

Earlier, Travid Head and Khawaja punished India’s new-ball waywardness and brought up the highest opening partnership for Australia in the series. With little turn on offer, R Ashwin bowled tight lines and mixed his pace up in a bid to build pressure and elicit a false shot as a result.

With the flow of runs being stemmed, Head tried to take on Ashwin but ended up toe-edging a loft to mid on. One brought two as Mohammad Shami was brought in for a second spell and struck with his second ball, having Marnus Labuschagne chopping on.

Ashwin and Shami bowled six maiden overs between them to contain the runs in the second hour as India clawed back into the contest.