A couple of days after ending an 11-year-old jinx, Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill added another 70+ opening partnership in India's second innings of the SCG Test, in the process batting out another 20+ overs in an innings for the second successive time.
Incidentally, this is only the second occasion when Indian openers had stitched together 50+ stands in both innings of a Test in Australia. Abid Ali and Farokh Engineer had achieved that feat for India at the same venue in 1968.
The last time Indian openers batted out 20+ overs in each innings of a Test, home or away was in 2004-'05 in Bengaluru against Pakistan.
Also, this is the eighth time overall that India had registered two 50+ opening partnership in a Test outside Asia, the last coming in at Trent Bridge in 2018 between Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul.
Earlier on Friday, the duo added a confident 70-run partnership to get India off to a solid start in their first innings on Day 2.
Chasing a stiff target of 407 after Tea on Day 4, Gill and Rohit saw off 20+ overs for the second time in a row with the former falling in the 23rd over nicking one behind to Tim Paine off Josh Hazlewood. The 71 runs added by the duo is the highest opening partnership by the visitors in this edition of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Earlier in the first innings, India lost their first wicket only in the 27th over, which was then the longest time an opening partnership has been at the crease for India in an away Test in a decade.
This is also India's first fifty-plus opening stand in the fourth innings away from home since Wasim Jaffer and Virender Sehwag put together 109 against West Indies in Basseterre in 2006.
Subcontinent teams' opening pairs with 50+ stands in both innings of a Test in Australia:— Rajneesh Gupta (@rgcricket) January 10, 2021
Abid Ali & Farokh Engineer - for India at SCG in 1968
C Hathurusingha & S Jayasuriya- for Sri Lanka at Adelaide in 1996
Rohit Sharma & Shubman Gill - for India at SCG in 2021 #AUSvIND
At the end of Day 4's play, India still trail by 309 runs with eight wickets remaining. The visitors lost both the openers Gill for 31 and Rohit for 52 in the last 30 minutes of the penultimate day.
Losing Gill and Rohit last 30 mins of play has set India back tremendously. SCG pitch not alarming still. India’s challenge is to bat out the entire 5th day. Not easy. Will require great application and mental toughness, especially from Pujara, Rahane and Vihari— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) January 10, 2021