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India stare at another embarrassing whitewash

Last updated on: January 27, 2012 14:37 IST

Ponting, Clarke put Australia on top in Adelaide

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A fluent half century by Ricky Ponting as well as the positive approach of skipper Michael Clarke saw Australia extend their overall lead to 499, setting India a target of 500 to win the fourth and final Test in Adelaide. 

The listless visitors were 166 for 6 at close of play, thereby taking the game to a fifth day for  the first time in the series. They require a further 334 runs, with only four of their second innings wickets left, heading for their second successive overseas whitewash.

The hosts lost two wickets in the morning session with Clarke (37) and Michael Hussey (15) falling to Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma respectively. 

After the first six overs of the day yielded nothing, Ashwin was brought back into attack but Australia had already added 26 runs to the overnight total and both the double centurions of the first innings, Ponting and Clarke, looked well settled.


Image: Michael Clarke (R) and Ricky Ponting (L) of Australia during day four of the Fourth Test Match between Australia and India at Adelaide Oval
Photographs: Getty Images

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Clarke adjudged caught behind off Yadav's bowling

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Resuming at 50 for 3, the Australians kept the scoreboard ticking with singles and twos before overnight batsman Michael Clarke fell for 37, adjudged caught behind off Yadav's bowling. 

Clarke, just before his dismissal, had changed gears and came down the track to twice lift off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for boundaries on either side of the wicket. 

The Australian captain finished the series as the highest run scorer for his team, aggregating 626 runs (@ 125.20) from his six innings.



Image: Michael Clarke leaves the field after getting out
Photographs: Getty Images

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Ponting was again at the forefront

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Ricky Ponting was again at the forefront of this torture to the Indians, unbeaten on 60 as the hosts declared at 167 for five. 

Half an hour before lunch, Ponting guided Ashwin behind on the onside for a single to raise his half century. 

This was his third half century of the series, besides a double hundred and a century he scored from this productive series.

Just before he reached his half century, Ponting, on 46, was given a reprieve by Rahul Dravid at midwicket when the batsman pulled Yadav from outside the off-stump and the fielder, running backwards, couldn't hold on to the chance. 

Ponting batted for 146 minutes and faced 96 balls, hitting five fours in his unbeaten innings. The former captain finished the series with an aggregate of 544 runs, (@ 108.80), from six innings.


Image: Ricky Ponting celebrates after getting to 50 runs
Photographs: Getty Images

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Harris provided Australia an early breakthrough

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Ryan Harris ensured Australia a perfect start with the ball, providing his team the opening breakthrough in what was his third over, the fifth of the innings. 

Harris induced an outside edge off Gautam Gambhir's blade and Brad Haddin did the rest. 

Gambhir scored only three. He finished the series with an aggregate of 181 runs, from eight innings, at a measly 22.62.

It was Harris's fourth wicket of the series.


Image: Ryan Harris celebrates after taking the wicket of Gautam Gambhir
Photographs: Getty Images

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Sehwag's was a callous dismissal

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Virender Sehwag scored a quickfire 62 to boost Indian hopes. 

The stand-in captain scored his runs off just 53 balls and hit a dozen boundaries in his innings. 

He was involved in a vital second wicket partnership with Dravid that yielded India 66 runs, Sehwag scoring a bulk of them.

Sehwag, at one stage, appeared to be finally coming into his element before he played a dreadful shot.

He was guilty of carelessly giving away his wicket, rather callously, skying a full toss from Nathan Lyon straight to Ponting at short cover. 


Image: Virender Sehwag bats on Day 4 of the Test
Photographs: Getty Images

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Dravid's dismissal gave Harris his second wicket

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Rahul Dravid scored 25 but, more importantly, protected his stumps on this occasion. 

The veteran, extremely sketchy during his stay at the crease, played away from his body off Harris. 

Mike Hussey, stationed at gully, took an easy catch to give the bowler his second wicket of the innings.

Dravid though helped Sehwag put up 66 runs for the second wicket, India's best partnership of the innings thus far. 

His dour but unsure 81-minute stay, yielded 19 off 58 balls, with three fours.





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Nathan Lyon took three wickets

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Sachin Tendulkar flattered to deceive again. The 'Master Blaster' could score only 13.

The pre-series hype surrounding his 100th international hundred came to zilch as Tendulkar failed to reach the landmark in any of the eight innings in the four-Test series.

He was the second of Nathan Lyon's three wickets. The off-spinner finally came on to his own, with figures of three for 57, in India's second innings.


Image: Sachin Tendulkar (L) walks off after getting out


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Tendulkar never looked comfortable during his stay

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Tendulkar was never comfortable during his 46-minute stay at the crease. 

He tried to play a forward defensive stroke, and the resultant bat-pad was easily taken by Ed Cowan, standing at short-leg.

Tendulkar finished the series with 287 runs from eight innings (@35.87), the second highest aggregate by an Indian batsman. 


Image: Sachin Tendulkar leaves the field after being dismissed

Tags: Ed , Cowan

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Laxman lived dangerously during his 88-ball stay

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With his international career on the line, Laxman lived dangerously during his 88-ball stay. He got a reprieve when Ponting, at second slip, dropped a sitter off Harris's bowling. 

There were any number of deliveries off which Laxman was beaten, most notably off Peter Siddle, which let the fast bowler let out a torrent of verbals at the batsman, for which he was later cautioned by umpire Kumar Dharmasena. 

Laxman's fifth-wicket stand with Virat Kohli yielded 52 runs, off almost 22 overs, before both fell in the space of four runs. 

Rival skipper Clarke set up a classic trap for the Hyderabadi stylist, keeping a short mid-wicket for the flick shots he plays off the backfoot. 

Laxman flicked Lyon off the backfoot into the hands of Shaun Marsh at short midwicket. His 88-ball knock had four boundaries.


Image: VVS Laxman leaves the field after being dismissed


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Kohli gritty but subdued till he was run-out

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Virat Kohli (22) was also dismissed in the final session.

The first innings centurion, gritty but subdued, went for an ill-advised single, probably to protect night-watchman Ishant Sharma and a direct throw from Ben Hilfenhaus, standing at mid-wicket, caught the batsman short of his crease. 

Kohli batted for 96 minutes for his 22 runs and hit two fours from 62 balls.

In all, the final session of 32 overs yielded only 74 runs for the loss of three Indian wickets.

Set a daunting target of 500, India were left with the arduous task of batting out the entire fifth day to prevent the dominating Australians from sweeping the series 4-0 in what has turned out to be a completely lop-sided encounter. 

Having lost 0-4 in England last year, India now face the ignominy of losing eight straight Test matches overseas. 

At stumps, Ishant Sharma (2) and Wriddhiman Saha (0) were holding fort and it will be a mere formality for Australia to take the remaining four wickets on the fifth day. 


Image: Virat Kohli leaves the field after being run-out


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