Sharma’s 9th test hundred gives India advantage on Day 2

NAGPUR (AP): Rohit Sharma scored his first test century as India’s captain to give his side the advantage over Australia on day two of the first test on Friday.

Sharma’s 120 was his ninth test hundred overall as India reached 321-7 at stumps in its first innings. The hosts lead Australia by 144 runs after the visitors were bundled out for 177.

Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel added 81 runs for the eighth wicket to further press home India’s advantage. Jadeja was unbeaten on 66 runs, while Patel was batting on 52 not out.

Off-spinner Todd Murphy finished the day with 5-82 in his debut test.

India went to lunch at 151-3 but Murphy dismissed Virat Kohli (12) off the first ball after the restart as he was caught behind. Nathan Lyon provided a helping hand and bowled Suryakumar Yadav for eight runs to put India on 168-5, before Sharma managed to rebuild the innings with Jadeja.

The duo put on 61 runs off 130 balls, with Sharma reaching his hundred off 171 balls.

India went past 200 in 70.1 overs, and went to the tea break at 226-5.

Sharma then fell to the second ball after tea, bowled off Pat Cummins, having faced 212 deliveries and hit 15 fours and two sixes.

Murphy then reached his five-wicket milestone by trapping debutant Srikar Bharat (8) lbw.

Jadeja and Patel, however, defied the Australian bowling for the remainder of the final session with a stand that lasted 185 balls in total. Jadeja reached his half-century off 114 balls, while Patel got to 50 off 94 balls.

The four-match series could determine which teams qualify for the World Test Championship final in June, with Australia and India currently in first and second spots.