March 28 2020
India v Australia - Day 1 - As it happened
03 January 2012

Australia dominating proceedings on the first day of the second Test at Sydney, bundling out India for 191 before Ponting and Clarke helped post a strong reply with the bat.

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Right, it was an entertaining day of Test cricket and I've enjoyed sharing my views. Be sure to tune in tomorrow at 5 AM (IST) to follow India's progress in this Test! Goodbye!

The Indian batting line-up needs some deep introspection. Being unable to score over 300 for over a year of overseas tours is certainly a cause for worry.

Gambhir looks totally out of touch and it is almost painful to see him struggle this much. Sehwag played a few shots but expectedly fell to a full, swinging ball. Laxman has an average time since the England tour begam, with 3 fifties and one century (against a mediocre West Indies attack at home) in the last 16 innings. Kohli showed good composure today in his 23, but fell again to a loose shot. Sachin looked good to score big as he did in the first Test, but again fell to score an in-between 41. Dravid did his intense blocking and was dismissed by superior planning (inside edge to short-leg). Dhoni the lone bright spot, scoring an unbeaten fifty to prove he can handle batting overseas.

The day began in disaster for India when Gambhir fell in the first over to Pattinson. Things did not get much better for India, with Australia's pace bowlers just proving too much to handle. Pattinson once again among the wickets with 4 scalps, while Hilfenhaus and Siddle claimed 3 each. This is a world-class bowling line-up right here. Hostile Pattinson, Swinging Hilfenhaus and Effort Siddle. Imagine the quality when Pat Cummins regains fitness, or if Mitchell Johnson returns to form.

Today belonged completely to Australia, with the only high point for India being the three quick wickets to Zaheer Khan. Well, Australia have recovered well to finish at 116/3, thanks to unbeaten 40s from Ponting and Clarke.

12:32: There you have it, end of day's play! Australia finish at 116/3.

12:29: Ashwin with most likely the last over of the day.

Terrible over from Sehwag ends. Just walking in rolling his arm over without much intent or purpose. Drifts down the leg with short balls, tucked away with ease by Ponting and Clarke.

12:26: Sehwag tries his hand as we head to the end of day's play.

12:23: Ashwin gets a bowl. He wasn't too impressive in the first Test. Kept bowling poor deliveries in his quest to mix it up, especially to the tail. He will do well to keep things tight with flight, length and line, even if it does not fetch wickets right away.

Not much swing or bounce for the Indians now. Looks like the pitch has eased out.

12:11: Clarke putting on a show! 3 successive boundaries off Yadav, each more pleasing than the last. First ball full outside off, Clarke plonks his foot forward and drives through cover. Yadav drops the bouncer next ball, but Clarke calls his bluff and pulls powerfully through mid-wicket. Yadab then keeps the next ball full on middle, but Clarke drives straight back for four. High quality batting.

12:10: Clarke and Ponting getting a move-on now. Rush of boundaries shows an increase in confidence after battling it out for a while in the middle.

11:59: Zaheer is back, as expected. Good move by Dhoni in his search for wickets.

11:55: Umesh Yadav losing the plot in this over. Dropping in way short to Ponting and Ponting has no problem pulling it away for runs. Ponting is still the master of the pull, no point trying to test him there. Merely bringing him back to form with those deliveries.

Ujwal Deole sorely misses Praveen Kumar -

'This Indian pace attack is pretty decent. However, I feel Praveen Kumar would have made a world of a difference. He can swing the ball both ways and has a work horse like attitude. Perfect foil for in-form Zaheer from the other end.'

11.55: 15 overs completed and Australia are 58 for three. Dhoni should bring back Zaheer Khan before close of play and take these two wickets.

11.54: Ponting just eases a ball through cover to take a couple of runs, and he moves to 16, and Australia are 58 for 3.

11.52: Umesh Yadav starts a new over with Ricky Ponting on strike, and the first ball whistles past the outside edge.

11.50: Ishant completes an over and Australians are building a partnership with Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting playing cautiously.

11:30: Just witnessed one of the most bizarre incidents on the cricket field. Clarke pushes past Umesh Yadav at mid-off and runs two. Umesh Yadav sprints after the ball, reaches the ball, collects and throws in one motion without realising where the stumps at the bowler's end is. The throw ends up near mid-wicket and the batsmen then run three! The crowd is stunned and then break into laughter. Not wayward, waaay wayward.

11:18: Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav need to maintain the pressure that Zaheer has built so effectively. It does not necessarily mean taking wickets, but even to just keep the batsmen quiet without any loose deliveries. But that isn't really happening. Ishant and Yadav are bowling that odd half-tracker and 'down the leg' ball which are being punished by Clarke and Ponting for four.

11:15: Cowan out! Zaheer can do no wrong. Pitching full just outside off, Cowan comes half-forward to defend. But the ball has other ideas and swings in sharply. Thuds into Cowan's pads on off stump, huge appeal and the umpire feels it would have hit middle-leg. Cowan out for 16 and India are in this thanks solely to Zaheer.

Steve Waugh is at the ground! This is his home ground and the fans love him. He is surrounded by autograph seekers. No smile, not even a hint of emotion from Steve Waugh. Just like his playing days. Good ol' Steve! Bet he could teach the Indian batsmen a thing or two about preserving a wicket when times are tough.

11:08: Almost an unbelievable dismissal! Ishant Sharma slides one way down Ponting's pads. Ponting nudges it, Dhoni to his left dives but drops the one-hander. Ishant is unhappy, but the umpire signals leg-bye. Replays, of course, show the ball came off the bat.

11:06: Ishant Sharma is introduced.

11:03: Zaheer Khan is right on the money. Not a single short ball, not a single ball drifting onto the pads.

Ravi Shastri and Ian Chappel remind viewers of Dhoni's mistake in the first Test when he spread the field and became defensive when Ponting barely reached 20. Cannot ease the pressure this time, they say. You have to agree. 22/2 is a good time to go 'all in'.

10:52: Umesh Yadav strays onto Ponting's pads, and Ponting takes the gift with a four through fine leg.

10:50: Ricky Ponting is here. 2 fifties in the first Test and you could say he is slowly inching back to form.

10:49: Ed Cowan is playing just his second Test, but showed his mettle in the first Test when he made a composed, gritty 68. What is he made of, ask demanding Australian fans.

Ujwal Deole reckons the pitches have been prepared differently this time -

'The pitches that Australia have prepared for this tour are very different than the ones in 03/04 and 07/08 – which were India’s best tours to Australia. Even the perth victory in 08 was on a batsman friendly perth wicket not the traditional bouncy perth wicket. These pitches are much like the ones in 91/92 and 99/00 – bouncy and seamer friendly. It feels like 99/00 all over again. The highlight of the 99/00 tour was the VVS Laxman century in the Final Test. That resurrected his career and may be gave some respect to India’s performance in that tour. May be this year, it will be Gambhir – but we will have to wait for the final test for that to happen!'

10:46: Ponting negotiates the hat-trick ball with a flick for a single.

10:43: Marsh departs! Zaheer at his best here. Keeping it simple, doing the basics right. Full just outside off, no movement or extra bounce. Marsh just plays down the wrong line and gets an edge to Laxman at second slip. First ball duck for Marsh.

Sreekanth Prasad N.S. -

'India needs definite changes. Laxman and gambhir needs to be relooked by selectors.'

Cannot ask for better start if you are an Indian fan. Zaheer does it again for India with an early breakthrough. Shaun Marsh is first drop.

10:37: Warner gone! Zaheer does the trick! Full and straight with a hint of away movement. Warner tentative and gets the outside edge to Laxman at second slip. Laxman cannot hold on to it, the ball bounces off to Sachin at first slip who holds on. Warner dismissed for 8.

And once again, the bowlers are under severe pressure to compensate for the batsman's inadequacies.

10:33: David Warner and Ed Cowan are here. Zaheer with the new ball.

The key, if India wants to make a match of this, is to adjust their length and keep the ball full. The pitch does assist seam bowling, but only if you get the batsman on the frontfoot. Set them up with the odd short ball for sure, but keep it up consistently.

Terrible, terrible show by India. This is not a 191 pitch, despite what the experts might suggest. Even bounce, perhaps more bounce than expected, but consistent nevertheless. Swing in the air and off the pitch, once again along expected lines. Poor shot selection, coupled with accurate and effective Australian bowling brought India's downfall.

Dhoni remains unbeaten on 57.

10:22: Umesh Yadav departs and India bowled out for 191. Yadav no match for Siddle, gets and edge and another catch for Haddin.

10:10: Back after Tea and Ishant Sharma is the first to go.

Join us at about 10.05 (IST) for the final session.

K. Preethi feels it's time to take bold decisions -

'Why can't Rohit Sharma come in place of Kohli, and Rahane in place of Gambhir? Gambhir is mentally out of form. Let the Indian management take a stern decision and decide on the seniors also.'

Dhoni is still at the crease, and is the only hope India have now if they even want to reach 200. This series is slowly turning into an England-like nightmare. India in a deep, deep hole.

Another session, and Australian mini-victory. Four more wickets fell in this session, including the key of Sachin Tendulkar. Ashwin and Dhoni put up a fight, but the Australian quicks had the final say. Kohli looked comfortable too, but his dismissal proved how much thought the Australian bowlers put in. Bouncers, keep the batsman on the back foot, then bowl full and get him out. That's the key difference. The Australians have plans for every Indian batsman, and they come out and execute. Short-leg for the Dravid inside edge, fly deep square leg for the odd bouncer, bouncer first-ball to Zaheer with a short-leg just a few examples.

Well, Hilfenahaus will have to wait because the umpires call Tea.

09:40: Hilfenhaus sends Zaheer packing! Nasty bouncer for Zaheer first ball, heading straight to the throat. Zaheer ducks, takes his eyes off the ball, hangs his bat out to protect his neck, ball hits the gloves and short-leg is around to pouch it. I just loved this dismissal. Hostile, brutal bouncer had the batsman in serious strife. So Hilfenhaus on a hat-trick.

Ashwin the fifth Indian batsman to get out behind the stumps. Indicates late swing and bounce.

09:38: Ashwin out! Full ball on middle from Hilfenhaus, slants away slightly, Ashwin is deceived and closes the face the bat to flick. Ball gets the edge and Clarke holds on to a regulation catch at first slip. Ashwin gone for 20.

09:34: Vital partnership between Ashwin and Dhoni yields 50.

09:31: Ashwin taking on the Hilfenhaus bouncer. First bouncer is hooked without much control, just evades the deep square-leg positioned for exactly this shot. Second bouncer is neatly played by Ashwin this time, rolls his wrist, keeps it on the ground. Rolls on the turf to deep square-leg and takes a single. Quick learning.

09:27: Heartening to see some fight from the batsmen, at last. India, by the way, have crossed 300 just twice in all of 2011. Trend will continue in its first Test of 2012, most likely.

Dhoni and Ashwin lead a mini-fightback with a 37-run partnership.

09:24: Nathan Lyon has bowled 7 overs with zero impact. Dhoni and Ashwin are playing him comfortably. Time to get Pattinson or Siddle back.

09:14: R. Ashwin, meanwhile, is keen to do some damage himself. Steps out to Lyon and drives with elegance through cover for four.

09:09: Huge crowd in to watch today's play. Near full house. Great crowd response at the MCG for the first Test too. They have seen high quality bowling, not so much high quality batting though.

08:55: So how will Dhoni go about things now? If he attacks, which is his best chance of making runs, he might get out and people will label him irresponsible. If he defends, he will perish eventually, simply because the wickets and bowlers here will sort him out. I reckon measured attack with quick singles is the way to go for Dhoni.

08:50: So once again Sachin is dismissed when you least expect it. Was middling literally every ball, but felt the pressure as batsmen fell regularly at the other end.

08:45: Sachin gone! Pattinson does it again, can you believe it! Overpitched way outside off, almost a yorker on the sixth stump. Sachin bends low and drives, but gets a thick inside edge and the ball crashes into the stumps. Sachin is disgusted and stares at his bat, but he's got to go for 41 and India in all sorts of trouble now.

I reckon it must be easy for Australia to work out Dhoni. Keep it really full outside off, swing it away and hope for an edge while Dhoni slashes/drives without moving his feet. Happened time and again in England.

Sachin has employed the upper-cut today as well. Very safe shot to play when there is no third-man on bouncy wickets such as these. His first upper-cut went for four, so let's see when he uses it again.

08:33: Nathan Lyon is introduced for the first time. Slip and short-leg in place for Sachin. Negotiated the over with ease.

08:24: Dhoni reluctant to come forward as well. Drives an overpitched ball while stuck on the backfoot. Very Calypso, very visually appealing, but fraught with danger.

08:19: M.S. Dhoni in at no.7 and you got to say his presence does not inspire confidence, given his poor batting record overseas. Yesterday, some reporters at his press conference even asked him to go all-out attack and get a few runs like he did in a couple of innings in England.

The consistent bouncers have taken its toll on the Indian batsmen. None apart from Sachin are keen to come on the frontfoot. That's what got Kohli as well. Couple of bouncers from Siddle, then a full ball catching Kohli on the back. Oldest trick in the book, but still effective!

The Indian top half is dismissed for just 96. Many Facebook statuses say this Indian team is similar to the team from the 90s. Harsh, but not without reason. The overseas form of this team has been poor, 90s poor.

08:10: Kohli gone! Spoke too soon! Length ball just outside off from Siddle gets massive bounce and clips the top of Kohli's bat. Another edge, another catch behind the bat. Kohli departs for 23. Fantastic ball from Siddle.

08:05: Kohli gallops with confidence to 23 off 36. Take a minute to understand the pressure on Kohli. The toast of the town after huge performances in the ODI team this year. Comes to Australia and is hailed as India's next no.6 in Tests. Failure in the first Test and everyone calls for his head. And now, he comes in at 59/4 to face a hostile and charged up Australian pace attack.

What do you make of Malcom Conn's article on Sachin losing the respect of some Australian cricketers after 'Monkeygate'? Here is the link to how it was reported in India. Send your views to liveresponse@thehindu.co.in

07:55: Sachin starts the second session with a delightful cut for four off a wide, poor delivery. He moves on to 27.

Massive responsibility on Kohli now. It's quite simple really, bat with patience and keep Sachin company. Sachin needs partners to carry on in his free flowing form. Back to the basics of cricket!

07:50: Here comes Siddle, pounding in. Day in and day out, pounding in.

S.N. Iyer has a few suggestions to improve the Indian team's performance -

'Our selectors do not consider the age factor and selected a team of old players who find it difficult to see the fast moving ball. Our bowlers are incapable of learning the same tactics when Australia bat. We need a change of selectors and an absolutely new team where players have an eyesight of 6/5 or even 6/4. An eye specialist with suitable equipment should be part of the Team.

We need young bowlers who should be on a suitable diet to build their muscles. Injury prone bowlers like Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma should be given a farewell.

These are all positive suggestions if we do not want our team to lose 4 wickets in one session.'

07:42: First ball after Lunch and Sachin gets a 2 through gully.

Be sure to tune in at 7.35 (IST) to catch the second session of play.

So Australia clearly on top, though the presence of an in-from Sachin gives hope to Indian fans. Can Kohli and others to follow give him company?

James Pattinson, the man-of-the-match in the first Test, comes to the party again with 3 wickets already. What a dream start to his Test career. Former Australia pacer Glenn McGrath is probably right in saying Pattinson is going to be one of the world's best.

India go to Lunch at 72/4, terrible start to the Test. Gambhir's run drought continues though he was dimissed with a beauty from Pattinson. Sehwag looked edgy and fell for 30. Laxman dismissed cheaply and the mainstay Dravid fell as well.

07:02: Lunch is called and India on the backfoot straight up.

07:00: Michael Hussey with his banana outswingers, the last over before Lunch.

06:45: Virat Kohli now. His place at no.6 has been in question after a tough first Test. Tough situation to come in with your place in the XI on the line.

06:39: Laxman out! Laxman cannot reproduce the Sydney magic, where he has centuries at will. Pattinson again with the full ball outside, Laxman reaches out and gets and edge to Shaun Marsh at third slip. India slide to 59/4.

VVS Laxman in with India in trouble. Laxman failed in both innings of the first Test, let's see if he can do his 'Australia' magic here.

06:25: Sehwag gone! Pattinson gets his man! Full and just outside off, Sehwag prods while stuck at the crease. Outside edge, safely done by Haddin behind the stumps. Sehwag gone for 30 and you got to say this was a long time coming. Sehwag looked quite uncomfortable.

06:06: Back after drinks and Ponting puts down an absolute sitter at slip! Sehwag survives. Genuine outside edge outside off, ball goes at a decent speed and perfect height to Ponting at second slip. He grabs the ball and spills it. Michael Clarke is at first slip and he cant believe it. Ponting would usually catch those with his eyes closed.

Sachin looks good, no doubt. But I'm going to refrain from saying this is the start to a big innings. Simply because it only takes one good moving ball - especially in bowler-friendly Australia - to send you packing.

06:01: Third four for Sachin, his second in the over. Overpitched from Siddle, Sachin puts it through cover and mid-off for four. Easy pickings.

06:00: Another four for Sachin, this time a push through cover off Siddle.

05:55: Sachin carries on the fine touch he showed in the first Test. A trademark flick off his pads through square leg for four. He did look in fine form in the first Test, and made 73 and 32 in a losing cause.

Sachin Tendulkar comes to the crease, crowd gives him a huge ovation.

05:49: Dravid out! Putched full on middle, late inswing and Dravid reaches out on the frontfoot. He gets an inside edge onto his pads, goes to Ed Cowan at short-leg. Huge wicket. Dravid gone for 5 and India 30/2.

05:48: Sehwag taking a liking to Siddle. Hit him for two fours in his first over, and strokes a 3 through cover on the up now.

Hilfenahus, Siddle and Pattinson were all mpressive in Australia's win in the first Test. Pattinson and Hilfenhaus make a perfect opening combo, with Pattinson all-out aggression complimeted by Hilfenhuas working away on the batsmen's patience with his tight out swingers. And then you have the perfect first change in Siddle, who steams in and bowls a heavy ball all day long.

05:42: Peter Siddle taking over from Pattinson. Quiet period of play for Rahul Dravid, who does his usual 'fight and block' routine.

Want to wish our readers a very happy new year. May your dreams of India regaining the no.1 ranking in Tests come true.

05:12: Ben Hilfenhuas with the new ball. Genuine swing bowler, he starts right on the money. Pitching off with huge away swing. Dravid lets the wider ones go, but has trouble with the balls around off.

05:09: Rahul Dravid comes in in the first over of the Test. He's used to this, but he cannot be happy to be here so early.

Gambhir's poor run continues. Fantastic delivery this, though. Steep bounce as well from Pattinson doing the trick.

05:04: Gambhir gone! Unbelievable start to the Test. Pattinson squares up Gambhir in the first over of the Test. Pitching on leg but moving away sharply, Gambhir is squared up and gets an outside edge to Michael Clarke at first slip. Gambhir gone for a duck.

India have won the toss and have elected to bat. Both teams are unchanged.

Hello and welcome to The Hindu's coverage of the first day of the second Test at Sydney.



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