Aussies fall like nine pins
Dhoni emerges India's most successful Test captain Hyderabad: The much-hyped Australian fight back never transpired as the remaining eight wickets...
Dhoni emerges India's most successful Test captain Hyderabad: The much-hyped Australian fight back never transpired as the remaining eight wickets fell like nine pins to the guiles of the spinners to give India an unassailable 2-0 head start in the four-match series on the fourth day of the second Test at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium here on Tuesday. The batsmen were spun out, quite literally as Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravinder Jadeja completed the demolition job with clinical precision even before the lunch break. Following the win, which has been India's second biggest triumph against Australia, Mahendra Singh Dhoni added another feather to his cap while emerging as the country's most successful Test captain with 22 wins. After being dismissed for 131 (since resuming the day at a more respectable 74 for two) the abject surrender meant that Australia lost by an innings and 135 runs after India posted a massive 503 in its first innings. India has been in formidable form in the series having earlier notched up an emphatic eight wickets win at Chennai. Having taken a 2-0 lead implies that the host will not lose the series, even if the visitors do make a comeback, which appears to be a herculean job, as things stand. Australia was expected to stretch the match further into the last session. However, Ashwin and Jadeja bowled in tandem to engineer a dramatic collapse after the hard working but luck-less Ishant Sharma fired the first salvo while dismissing Shane Watson early. Soon thereafter it was Jadeja and Ashwin, who livened up the proceedings. Ashwin returned with yet another five-wicket haul (5 for 63) while Jadeja did well for his 3/33 besides running out M C Henriques with his energetic presence of mind. Earlier, Australia resumed the day at 74/2 with Ed Cowan and Shane Watson at the crease. Cowan with 44 ended as the tops scorer while Clarke with 16 and wicket-keeper Mathew Wade (10) were the only two with double-digit figures. Clarke, who has been in good nick, was flummoxed by a Ravindra Jadeja delivery that did not bounce. He added 33 runs with Cowan, which was the only notable partnership of the innings. Jadeja struck in his very next over when the well-set Cowan edged to Virender Sehwag in slips. Thereafter, it was a regular march to the pavilion before Ashwin brought the curtains down while sending out James Pattinson. Quite expectedly, Chateshwar Pujara was rewarded with the man of the match award. The third Test begins in Mohali on March 14. SCORECARD Australia 1st Innings: 237/9 declared. India 1st innings: 503 Australia 2nd Innings: (Overnight 74/2): Ed Cowan c Sehwag b Jadeja 44, David Warner b Ashwin 26, Phillip Hughes b Ashwin 0, Shane Watson c Dhoni b Sharma 9, Michael Clarke b Jadeja 16, Matthew Wade c Sehwag b Ashwin 10, Moises Henriques run out 0, Glenn Maxwell lbw b Ashwin 8, Peter Siddle c Kohli b Jadeja 4, James Pattinson lbw b Ashwin 0, Xavier Doherty not out 1 Extras: (B-7, LB-6) 13 Total: (all out; 67 overs) 131 Fall of wickets: 1-56, 2-56, 3-75, 4-108, 5-111, 6-111, 7-123, 8-130, 9-130, 10-131. Bowling: Bhuvneshwar Kumar 6-4-7-0, R Ashwin 28-12-63-5, Harbhajan Singh 10-7-10-0, Ravindra Jadeja 18-8-33-3, Ishant Sharma 5-2-5-1.