Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill stake declare for Take a look at berth

Sydney, December 12

Rishabh Pant and Hanuma Vihari put themselves in reckoning for next week’s first Test against Australia with hundreds as Indian batsmen dominated on the second day of the warm-up match against Australia A today.

Needing 19 runs to reach his century when Jack Wildermuth commenced the day’s final over, Pant clobbered him for 4, 4, 6, 4, 4 to remain unbeaten on a blistering 103 off only 73 balls. Overall, he hit nine fours and six sixes. At the other end, Vihari had steadily played his way to a fine 104 off 194 balls. Also staking his claim for selection was young Punjab batsman Shubman Gill, who made an elegant 65 off 78 balls, hitting 10 sweetly-timed boundaries.

At close of play, India were 386/4 for an overall lead of 472 runs, having bundled the home team out for 108 in their first innings yesterday.

While Gill may have booked himself one of the opening slots with his dazzling strokes, Vihari’s effort might force the Indian team to play an additional batsman in the first Test.

After Prithvi Shaw fell in the day’s second over, Gill took over and reached his half-century off 49 balls. The 21-year-old played some elegant drives and looked assured on the backfoot, which seems to be his forte. Gill fell in an unfortunate manner to leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson after he missed a flick and the bowler appealed for lbw, but he was given out caught at slip. TV replays were inconclusive and a disappointed Gill had no option but to walk back to the dressing room. — PTI

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