Cricket: India in control in Hyderabad

Cheteshwar Pujara. Photo / Getty Images
Cheteshwar Pujara. Photo / Getty Images

Australia's spin-bowling dramas have taken a new and dark twist as their revamped attack claimed only one wicket in a day of batting brilliance from India in the second Test.

The home side reached 1-311 at stumps in Hyderabad on Sunday, a lead of 74 with nine first-innings wickets in hand.

Inexperienced pair Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay shared a record, unbeaten second-wicket partnership of 294.

It was Pujara's fourth century in his 11th Test. The 25-year-old's unbeaten 162 has included 25 fours and one six from 251 deliveries.

The 14-Test opener Vijay, 28, is 129 not out from 288 balls in a fine supporting knock to the dazzling skills of Pujara, who reached his 150 by hooking paceman Peter Siddle for six.

Australia dumped frontline slow bowler Nathan Lyon after the hammering the offspinner received in India's eight-wicket win in the first Test in Chennai, where Lyon took 3-215 and 1-29.

Left-arm quick Mitchell Starc was also axed.

Their replacements, debutant offspinner Glenn Maxwell (0-55 off 10 overs) and three-Test spinner Xavier Doherty (0-85 off 26), were unable to break through.

In Doherty's defence he did have Vijay dropped at slip on 71 and Pujara edged through slip on 157.

Pujara and Vijay's 294-run stand is a record for India for the second wicket against Australia.

Former India allrounder Ravi Shastri questioned Australia's selection strategy.

"What kind of message does it send to Nathan Lyon to be dropped after taking four wickets in Chennai?'' the 80-Test veteran asked.

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"I can't imagine this would be good for Nathan Lyon's confidence.

"He came here as the frontline spinner and then he is upstaged in this Test by Doherty. It is a big call and unfortunately it could backfire for Australia,'' the TV commentator added.

Skipper Michael Clarke, a part-time spinner who has a long-term back problem and arrived in India earlier this month nursing a sore hamstring, didn't bowl.

Siddle struck in the fifth over of the day when Virender Sehwag was caught behind for six and Australia limited India to 1-54 at lunch before Pujara and Vijay cut loose.

India lead the four-match series one-nil.

- AAP

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