Australia and India continue the second Test cricket match at the Sydney Cricket Ground today. Join our live commentary from 10.20 EST. Australia will be looking to press home an advantage with the bat, while India will seek early breakthroughs to restore parity.
Ricky Ponting was 44 not out overnight, with captain Michael Clarke on 47, after a 73-run stand that saw their side recover from danger at 3/37. The stumps score was 3/116.
A now-familiar top order collapse had preceded the partnership, with David Warner departing to a rebound slips catch for 8, Shaun Marsh caught at slip for a first-ball duck, and Ed Cowan lbw after a positive start for 16. Marsh especially is enduring a wretched run, with three runs in three innings.
Australia were only batting yesterday because of an insipid performance by India on the Australian ground that his historically best suited their batsmen. The tourists were shot out for only 191, wilting in the line of Australian bowling that was determined and consistent, but a long way from fire and brimstone.
The good pitch gave some assistance to the bowlers, but should have been good for batting. This was of little help to India, whose batsmen prodded and poked edges behind the wicket and another three catches to Cowan at short leg.
Only MS Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar looked at ease, with Dhoni producing some rasping shots in an aggressive and unbeaten 57, and Tendulkar unlucky to edge into his stumps after an equally positive 41. Dhoni and R Ashwin at least saved their side from a complete slump, as James Pattinson captured four top-order wickets to extend his flying start to Test cricket, while Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus took three each, including Siddle’s hundredth Test victim.
Still, there seemed to be life remaining in the pitch for Zaheer Khan, who shot out the three Australian left-handers. It will be a crucial first hour this morning. Ponting and Clarke have both been uncertain starters of late, and looked shaky early in their innings yesterday. If India can snare a couple of early breakthroughs and get into the tail, they’ll be a chance of keeping Australia to around 200 to 250, and will remain in the match.
If Australia can push on to 300, it will be a very unlikely comeback for India from there.
Tune in for our scorecard and live commentary from 10.20 this morning. Geoff Lemon will be awaiting your contributions – scroll down to the Comments section for commentary and to join the conversation.