Steve Smith misses 2nd ton

Sydney, January 10

Steve Smith struck 81 off 167 balls, missing out on a second hundred but rookie Cameron Green flayed a hapless Indian attack with 84 off 132 balls that had four sixes. Their effort enabled Australia to declare at the stroke of tea at 312/6.

Marnus Labuschagne (73 off 118 balls) once again batted positively during his second century partnership of the match (103 runs) with his mentor Smith, who employed a more cautious approach.

The butter-fingered Indian fielders also didn’t help the bowlers’ cause as Hanuma Vihari, vice-captain Rohit and Rahane missed regulation catches at square leg, slip and gully, respectively.

Ravichandran Ashwin can take solace in the fact that he denied Smith a hundred with a successful review, he would be the first to admit that he was well below his best during the match.

Green, who possesses great reach with a height of 6ft 7in, was cautious but didn’t let the loose deliveries get away and the six off Siraj over widish mid-on gave a glimpse of his quality. — Agencies

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