Update at Stumps
India finished the second day's play at an impressive 214 for 3 in 65 overs of the Melbourne Test. The visitors are trailing behind Australia by another 119 runs. It would have been a perfect day of cricket for India but for the late strike from Peter Siddle which dismissed Sachin Tendulkar (73) and denying him an opportunity to score a possible 100th International century tomorrow. India have now got Rahul Dravid on 68* along with nightwatchman Ishant Sharma who has seen through three balls before stumps.
The final session was going all India's way and Michael Clarke was forced to go with a defensive field. The two Indian batsmen - Dravid and Tendulkar eased past their half centuries to keep their side on top. At one stage, Clarke was using all his soft options in Nathan Lyon, Michael Hussey and even part-time leggie David Warner against this experienced Indian duo. There was an anxious moment in the final session when Rahul Dravid grimaced in pain because of cramps in his leg. With the help of some fluids, Dravid got back onto his feet to continue his consolidation job with Sachin.
There was another massive moment in the final session when Peter Siddle went through the defences of Dravid in the 59th over with an express delivery full in length and swinging back. Dravid was comprehensively bowled, but was damn lucky to get a second life as Siddle had overstepped the line and that magical delivery was instead declared as a noball.
Siddle was fired up after that no-ball incident and he kept on running in with steam, often clocking around the 150 kmph speed. And just at the stroke of Stumps, Siddle got his reward when he went through the bat pad gate of Sachin Tendulkar (73 from 98 balls with 8 fours and a six) with a reversing inswinger at pace to end what was a 117-run partnership for the third wicket. By Stumps, Rahul Dravid managed to stay unbeaten having got beaten many times in the corridor of uncertainty. To his credit, Dravid battled it out to score 68* (with 6 fours) and batting out 185 balls to survive for tomorrow.
Update at Tea Break
Australia have fought back just before Tea by removing the dangerous looking Virender Sehwag. James Pattinson provided this crucial blow as he got Sehwag inside edging an expansive drive onto the woodwork with a sharp indipper. Sehwag had raced away to 67 from 83 balls with 7 fours in an adventurous knock. He had his luck with three difficult catches going down - at gully, at long on and one by the diving Wicket Keeper. By Tea, India have got to 99 for 2 in 30 overs with Rahul Dravid on 25* (from 67 balls with 2 fours) and Sachin Tendulkar on 2* (from 8 balls). The visitors are trailing behind by 234 runs.
Hilfenhaus had earlier provided Australia with an early breakthrough after lunch, infact 22 minutes after the resumption of play when he had Gambhir (3) edging behind to the keeper. The left hander had fished at a short and rising delivery that seamed away around middle. After his exit, India looked to take control as Dravid joined an attacking Sehwag. Runs started to flow freely thanks to Sehwag who hit off spinner Nathan Lyon with three loftted boundaries. Sehwag in the course of his innings also crossed 8000 Test runs in his career
Update at Lunch Break
India safely negotiated three overs before lunch without losing a wicket although Virender Sehwag played quite a few loose shots in his 4* from 8 balls. Gautam Gambhir on the other hand has looked solid on 2* from 10 balls as India ended the morning session at 6 for no loss. James Pattinson bowled quick and Ben Hilfenhaus swung and seamed the ball around which should be challenging for the Indian batsmen to handle after lunch.
End of Australia 1st Innings
Australia have been bowled out for 333 in 110 overs just around 20 minutes to go for lunch on Day 2. Last man Nathan Lyon was bowled round his legs by a fullish delivery from Ashwin which defeated what was a predetermined sweep shot. James Pattinson remained unbeaten on an impressive 18 while facing 54 deliveries. Off Spinner R Ashwin finished the innings with figures of 3 for 81. He also got a dangerous Ben Hilfenhaus who departed trying to heave a tossed up off break from R Ashwin across the line, and holed out to Virat Kohli at deep mid on. It was a crucial wicket for India as Hilfenhaus (19) was playing his shots and had added 27 useful runs for the 9th wicket with Pattinson.
Earlier Zaheer Khan provided a perfect start for India removing both the well set overnight batsmen Haddin and Siddle. First Zaheer Khan took just the six ball to remove overnight batsman Brad Haddin as Australia lost their 7th wicket in what was only the second over of Day 2. Haddin fell for 27, as he got lured into an expansive square drive but only to edge the away swinger low to Sehwag at gully. Zaheer Khan then went onto remove Peter Siddle for 41 with a short of length delivery that pitched on middle and seamed away to take an edge to MS Dhoni. The left armer has picked up four wickets in this innings.
- BV Swagath