Marathon Usman Khawaja and Cameron Green drive Australia

It was fitting in a way that Khawaja and Green teamed up for such a large booth; Their 208-run partnership is the highest in Tests between Australia and India since Ajinka Rahane and Virat Kohli hit 262 at the 2014 MCG.

Some of the most touching scenes from Season 2 of the Amazon documentary about the Australian team feature Green and Khawaja discussing how to play spin in Sri Lanka. Later in the same episode, Green is captured in the dressing room after a low score and sheds tears.

“He’s so young, such a young cricketer, people forget that,” Khawaja said of Green. “I would like to see him continue with that tomorrow. But even if he doesn’t, I just know he has a long career ahead of him for Australia, he just needs to keep working hard and make sure he doesn’t push himself too hard and keep getting better.”

The day began with the news of the passing of Maria Cummins after a long and emotional journey since her breast cancer returned. Australia’s players and staff were informed half an hour before the game and Green and Khawaja donned black armbands before leaving the game.

Otherwise, however, the pair continued batting as if virtually no time had passed since the final on the first night. They were alert in the early overs while India captain Rohit Sharma tried to apply some pressure while keeping runs low.

Cameron Green raises the bat.

Cameron Green raises the bat.Credit:AP

Green increased his 50 in the opening, then hit mostly with singles and twos before unleashing a barrage of drives when Umesh Yadav threw full in search of some momentum. The precision of Green’s footwork, coming well forward but ensuring his front pad never got in the way, allowed him to pierce offside field with remarkable regularity.

That’s how Green hit 95 at lunch and, about 10 minutes after the resumption, Ravindra Jadeja sliced ​​past the point to raise three numbers. Green was pensive himself at that moment, contemplating how to celebrate before delivering a joyful downward smack with the racquet to the team’s viewing area.

“Of course that was something very special [on 95] At lunch that 40 minutes felt like a forty hour but I was hitting with Ussie the whole time, there was experience on the other end and he hit beautifully and that helps a lot,” Green said.

It was a surprise to everyone when Green swept a ball well over the side of the leg from Ravichandran Ashwin (6-91) and touched it into the gloves of KS Bharat. Given such a start, Alex Carey’s exit was wasteful, slamming into Ashwin and firing a catch.

For a couple of overs it looked like Australia would struggle to reach 500 before Murphy and Lyon frustrated India in the same way Axar confused them in Nagpur and Delhi. The task of wicket-taking is at hand.

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Ryan Sederquist

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