Laxman leads India fight back
VVS Laxman starred as India closed day two of the second Test against Australia on 216-3.
By Phil Jackson
Last Updated: 04/01/08 9:12am
VVS Laxman scored a century as India fought back to close day two of the second Test against Australia on 216-3.
Andrew Symonds finished on a career-best 162 not out as Australia were bowled out for 463 in the morning session.
And India then rallied from the early loss of Wasim Jaffer (three) in their reply with Rahul Dravid (53) and Laxman (109) sharing a 175-run partnership to leave things evenly poised in Sydney.
India still trail Australia's first innings total by 247 runs but will hope for big contributions from Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly, who ended the day unbeaten in a fledgling partnership of 31.
Captain Anil Kumble polished off Australia's tail to finish with figures of 4-106 in the morning, but not before Brett Lee chalked up the fourth Test half-century of his career.
Fellow paceman Mitchell Johnson also added a quick-fire 28, but in the end Symonds was left stranded after striking 18 fours and two sixes in his 226-ball knock.
India then made a disastrous start to their assault on Australia's total when opener Jaffer was bowled by Lee's swinging low full toss with just eight runs on the board.
But Laxman, after being dropped by wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist on 77, went on to make his fifth Test hundred against Australia and his third in as many appearances at Sydney.
Dravid, who has been struggling for form since moving up the order, went into his shell meanwhile after being caught off a no-ball on 15.
But after surviving two strong appeals for catches on 24 and 47 he eventually brought up his half-century after four hours in the middle.
The former captain departed just two balls later though edging a head-high catch off Johnson to Matthew Hayden at slip.
And Laxman followed in the next over driving Brad Hogg straight to Mike Hussey at short extra cover, as Tendulkar and Ganguly took India to stumps.
India are desperate to prevent Australia notching a record-equalling 16th straight Test win and things remain finely in the balance heading into day three at the SCG.