|Clarke and Ponting added 386|
There's an Australian saying which covers Sharma's summer ... don't by a lottery ticket.
By lunch, 134 more had been added, Clarke only just shading Ponting in the session. The pace of Clarke's innings was outstanding. Ponting's double century - raised after lunch - took 357 balls. Clarke's - raised before - was a hundred balls less.
Virender Sehwag had nothing left to offer as captain and by the time lunch arrived, India were vigorously waving the white flag. Again with the wrong attack - as in Perth - and with the same tactics which seemed to lack both effective plans and the consistency from the bowlers to carry them out, they continued to take a hiding.
The second session was marginally India's, taking four wickets despite Australia adding another 100. Clarke left three balls after the break, still burping up his lunch and missing a straight ball from Yadav intended for his leg stump and having his pads brush it back onto those sticks behind him. The partnership of 386 was just two short of the all time Australia record for the fourth wicket set by Bill Ponsford and Don Bradman at Headingly in 1934 and was not only the highest 4th wicket partnership of all time at the Adelaide Oval but the best of any pairing for any wicket there in the 70 Test, 117 year history of the place. Heady stuff.
Ponting and Michael Hussey added 50 in thirteen overs before a freakish piece of fielding from Gautum Gambhir at silly point started a clatter of wickets. Hussey pushed to cover, Gambhir stuck out a hand, grabbed it and threw down the batsman's wickets with Hussey already moving forward with the stroke. For once something went India's way. Within six overs, Ponting was out pulling Zaheer Khan to deep midwicket where Sachin Tendulkar held a good catch and Peter Siddle pushed forward at Ravi Ashwin and gave Saha his first keeper's catch in Tests. Ponting's dismissal was adjoined with another thunderous standing ovation, led conspicuously by the Australian captain in the open player's viewing area.
That's where it ended for India as Brad Haddin and Ryan Harris lashed out on either side of tea for cheap runs until a declaration after 600 was reached.
On a placid wicket, baked stale under two days of Adelaide sun and against wayward Australian bowling, the task should have been so much easier for India than at any of the three previous venues.
|Siddle removes Sehwag|
Hilfenhaus came back immediately to bowl at Rahul Dravid and a good length ball which would have passed over the stumps, passed Dravid bat handle, where his low held hands had sent the blade in search of the ball. Clearing everything wood, it brushed his right elbow instead and went down onto the wickets. On a dead easy track, such strokes of fortunes always seem to follow winners.
|Dravid bowled 6 out of 7 innings|
All that said, India may well confirm Paterson's sentiments in his famous Australian poem. This time, instead of a stripling on a Timor pony, it may have been The Man With Snowy Haircut and Ricky of the Overflow who have combined to "halt them, cowered and beaten and turn their heads for home." India have had enough and even though a hostile reception waits for them, home is where they want to be.
As if we haven't had enough, today could again be Australia's Day.