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PHOTOS: Ponting, Clarke tons grind India to dust

Last updated on: January 24, 2012 14:23 IST

Zaheer provided India an early breakthrough

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India got off to a good start in the fourth and final Test against Australia, in Adelaide on Tuesday, striking two blows inside the first 10 overs after the hosts opted to bat first in hot, batter-friendly conditions.

- Scorecard | Day's report

The visitors first reduced the home side to 31 for two, and subsequently 84 for three. 

Spearhead Zaheer Khan, as is his wont, provided India the opening breakthrough, in his fourth over, the seventh of the innings. 


Image: Zaheer Khan celebrates with team mates after taking the wicket of David Warner during day one of the fourth Test
Photographs: Getty Images

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Warner was dismissed cheaply

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Warner (8) played back to a Zaheer delivery and was struck plumb in front of the stumps in the seventh over of the innings. 

The hosts, 3-0 up in the series, were stuttering at 31 for 2by the 10th over at one stage before Ed Cowan and Ricky Ponting redeemed the situation somewhat with a 53-run stand.


Image: David Warner leaves the field after getting out
Photographs: Getty Images

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Cowan scored a calculated 30

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However, once Zaheer and Umesh Yadav were through their first spells, the Indians leaked runs all around. Yadav conceded as many as 41 runs from his five overs.

Australia were 44 for two after 15 overs in the first hour and the 50 of the innings was up in the 18th over when Ponting flicked Yadav off his pads to fine leg boundary. 

Cowan and Ponting put together a 53-run stand for the third wicket. The opener made a 63-ball 30, his innings inclusive of three hits to the fence.


Image: Ed Cowan plays the ball to third man region
Photographs: Getty Images

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Ashwin struck twice before lunch

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Ravichandran Ashwin struck twice in the first session to reduce Australia to 98 for three at lunch.

Ashwin accounted for Shaun Marsh (3) and Ed Cowan (30) in two separate spells to give India the edge in the first session. 

Off-spinner Ashwin, introduced into the attack as early as in the fourth over, sent down a delivery that went through the arm and clipped the top of Marsh's off-stump. 

Ashwin was re-introduced in the half hour before lunch and the off-spinner made it a sweet session for himself when Cowan drove him straight to short midwicket, where VVS Laxman took a brilliant low catch to his right.


Image: Ravichandran Ashwin (C) celebrates with team mates after getting the wicket of Shaun Marsh
Photographs: Getty Images

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Ponting impressive yet again

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Ricky Ponting, though, was in brilliant touch and scored his 61st Test fifty to help Australia fight back. 

The 37-year-old, along with his skipper Michael Clarke for company, put together a solid partnership for the fourth wicket to spark an Aussie revival and undo the good work the visitors had done in the opening session. 

Ponting took a heavy toll of Yadav and struck him all around the park, pulling and hooking with disdain and driving through the off-side with pinpoint precision. There were flicks and unintended steers too for boundaries from the middle order batsman.


Image: Ricky Ponting pulls, as Wriddhiman Saha looks on
Photographs: Getty Images

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Ponting's 41st Test century

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Ponting proceeded to smash the 41st century of his 162-Test career, his eighth against India, which put him at par with Sir Garfield Sobers and Sir Vivian Richards as the batsmen who scored maximum tons against the sub-continental team. 

It is also his 23rd century at home, which is one more than what Sachin Tendulkar and Jacques Kallis have scored in their glittering careers.

During his knock, he also crossed the 13,000-run landmark.

Ponting now has as many as six centuries from 16 Tests at this venue and four out of four against India. 

In this match, Ponting has so far concentrated for 254 balls and struck 13 fours in his flawless innings.


Image: Ponting celebrates his century
Photographs: Getty Images

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For Clarke, it's his 19th century

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For Clarke, this was his 19th century in his 80th Test, his second of the series, after the mammoth 329 at the SCG early this month.

His was the more flamboyant innings, staying put for four hours and 18 minutes and 188 balls, smashing 19 fours and a six.

Ponting's landmark took him 164 balls, while Clarke's was raised over 133 balls. The Australian skipper had 14 fours to Ponting's 11 besides an enormous six.


Image: Michael Clarke celebrate after scoring 100

Tags: Clarke , SCG

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Pup, Punter involved in a 251-run fourth-wicket stand

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Ponting and Clarke, both of whom tormented India in the second Test in Sydney with centuries, joined hands once again for an unbroken 251-run fourth-wicket stand, which took the hosts to a comfortable 335 for three after a shaky start.

Their stand is also far better than the 210 these two put together for the fourth wicket at this very ground against India four years ago.

Ponting had batted freely in the morning session, but it was Clarke who shifted a gear or two in the afternoon.


Image: Ponting (L) and Clarke (R) during their partnership

Tags: Clarke , India , Sydney

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Captain Sehwag endured a disappointing day

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Virender Sehwag, in his first day in office as captain, was disappointing. The team played without any intent or purpose, and, after a stage, the players were not even bending to pick up a ball. 

Sehwag had last captained an Indian Test team two years back, against Bangladesh in Chittagong back in January 2010.

The 33-year-old lost the toss and nothing went right thereafter. 

To make matters worse he went wicketless in the 13 overs he bowled. 


Image: Virender Sehwag watches helplessly as Ponting and Clarke score freely


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