India vs Australia: Indian batsmen fire at MCG, post highest away total of 2018
For India and Virat Kohli, 2018 has been a year of so near yet so far in the crucial away Test series. India lost the series in South Africa narrowly and then lost to England 1-4 but the eventual scoreline does not show how closely fought 4 out of the 5 Tests were. Most of these Test matches were lost because Indian batsmen failed to put on big totals on the board.
Now in Australia and locked in a see-saw battle with the series tied at 1-1 after the first two Tests, India needed its batsmen to fire on all cylinders after winning the toss and opting to bat first in the crucial 3rd Test at Melbourne. The wish of the team management and the fans finally came true as the Indian top order performed.
Debutant Mayank Agarwal (76) led the way with the fiery half-century while the dependable Cheteshwar Pujara responded with his 17th Test century, compiling a patient 106. Captain Virat Kohli was at his strokeful best as he scored 82 while Rohit Sharma survived a few bad shots and a drop to make his way to an unbeaten 63. As a result of this India declared their first innings on 443/7, which is by far their biggest innings total of the year in away Test matches.
In terms of India’s highest totals before declaring in Australia, this stands at the third position. Australia were into to bat for 6 overs at the end of the second day by Virat Kohli. The opening duo of Marcus Harris and Aaron Finch looked tentative but survived, with the Aussies at 8 for no loss at stumps.