Rahane hits century for India against Australia

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India captain Ajinkya Rahane led from the front on day two of the second Test against Australia

Stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane smacked a gutsy unbeaten century Sunday as India built a handy lead over Australia on day two of the second Test in Melbourne.

The 32-year-old came to the crease with his team in trouble early in the day after two wickets fell in quick succession, but rode his luck to notch a 12th Test ton in his 67th game.

Rahane, captaining the team in the absence of Virat Kohli, who has returned home for the birth of his first child, hit 11 fours in his trying innings.

He made the most of his fortune, enjoying a huge let-off on 73 when he was dropped at second slip by Steve Smith off a frustrated Mitchell Starc, bringing up his century with a four off Pat Cummins.

It helped give India a 73-run lead over Australia, who were all out for 195 in their first innings.

With less than an hour left to play, India were 268 for five in reply, with Ravindra Jadeja not out 36.

mp/qan