The second day of the Perth Test saw the Australian attack pegging back India after the visitors lost their openers early, followed by the crucial wicket of Adelaide hero, Cheteshwar Pujara. However, skipper Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane (unbeaten) put on a show to keep the Test alive after the duo hit their respective fifties in Perth.
Kohli scored an unbeaten 82 off 181 balls to lift India to 172/3 from a precarious 8 for 2 in their first innings, in reply to Australia's 326 allout on the second day.
Australian batsman Usman Khawaja on Saturday hoped lady luck shines on the hosts as they target the skipper's wicket early on the third day of the second cricket Test to expose the Indian tail.
"Virat is a good batsman. He respects good bowlers. All our bowlers bowled well in patches today. Sometimes they nick it sometimes they don't. We just have to keep putting it in right place in the right time. We have to be disciplined enough to get those edges and a bit of luck is needed," Khawaja said in the press conference.
"If you give him opportunity to score, he will take it. He was on it today and gave him a couple fuller balls, so he hit us but at same time we had to attack stumps and see what the wicket had to offer.
"Hopefully we can get a couple of wickets early, break this partnership because this is not an easy pitch to start on. We still have to start off well tomorrow and have that chance at their tail but still have to be quite disciplined."
The India captain stitched a 90-run unbroken partnership with Rahane by stumps on the second day, the stand coming after he added 74 with Pujara (24) for the third wicket.
This was after Australia's tail wagged to add 49 runs to their overnight total to finish at 326. India trailed by 154 more runs.
Khawaja also stressed that the hosts are still ahead in the second Test with India 154 runs adrift of Australia's first innings' total of 326.
"We haven't lost the upper hand and are still ahead of the game. Ajinkya Rahane came out and took on the short ball but we pegged them back as bowlers started bowling well," he said.
"We need to do it consistently through the whole period. We knew that but some days it comes easy, some days it doesn't.
"Hopefully tomorrow we can be a little bit better. They are still 140 behind. It took them 70 overs to get 170-odd. One or two wickets in first session will be pretty big for us," he added.
Khawaja said the Perth pitch still has enough for the Australian bowlers to exploit and it is a matter of a couple wickets on day three.
"Everyone pretends to be an expert on wickets but none of us really know. Looked like it had patches where it was doing a little bit. They could have nicked a couple more and it would have been a different day," he said.
Kohli's unbeaten knock, coupled with Ajinkya Rahane's counterattacking 51, helped India to not only overcome the cheap dismissals of Murali Vijay (2) and K L Rahul (2), but also put the visitors in a position from where they can look to dominate the rest of the game.
(With PTI Inputs)