Spinners put India on top
Australia fail to capitalise on good openinig stand Mohali (IANS): Australia failed to capitalise...
Australia fail to capitalise on good openinig stand Mohali (IANS): Australia failed to capitalise on a century-strong opening stand and were reduced to 273/7 in their first innings after the second day's play in the third cricket Test against India at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) Stadium here on Friday. Opening batsman David Warner (71) and Ed Cowan (86) gave a steady start with their 139-run stand, the first century-partnership for Australia in the series. It was the third time in 16 Tests that the pair had overhauled 100. However, Australia's inability to play left-arm spinners came to the fore as Ravindra Jadeja (3/56) and Pragyan Ojha (1/62) struck in tandem as the visitors slumped from 139/0 to 151/3. Ishant Sharma (2/41) and Ravichandran Ashwin (1/64) also gave crucial breakthroughs that left Steve Smith (56 not out) and Mitchell Starc (20 not out) battling at the crease at stumps.A After the first day's play was washed out due to rain without a ball being bowled, bright sunny skies welcomed the two teams on Day 2. Play started 30 minutes early at 9 am. Australia did well in the first session scoring 109 runs without losing a wicket but slipped in the second when they lost three quick wickets for 71 runs. In the third and the final session, Australia added another 93 runs but at the expense of four wickets.A Following Michael Clarke's decision to bat, Warner and Cowan made a cautious start but grew in confidence as the game progressed. They played within their limitations and collected runs efficiently. Cowan was lucky on 35, when his attempted cut shot whizzed past Virat Kohli at slip off Ojha. Warner also had a lucky escape batting at 50 when his edge went past Kohli's right hand off left-arm spinner Jadeja.A It was, however, Jadeja who drew first blood as Warner edged to skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and struck with the next ball to get rid of Clarke. The Australian captain, who had made good use of his feet in the series, came out only to be beaten and Dhoni was quick enough to remove the bails. It was Clarke's first golden duck of his career and his promotion up the order didn't work. Ojha, who replaced Harbhajan Singh, removed an out-of-form Phil Hughes (2) to leave Australia at 151/3. Cowan fell soon after tea with Ashwin producing a fine tossed up delivery and the opener gave an edge to Kohli. Smith and Brad Haddin (21) tried to repair the innings but Ishant ended the 46-run stand by removing Haddin, who tried to play it behind square but found a bottom edge that rattled his stumps. Two balls later, Ishant got past Moises Henriques' defence that left Australia tottering at 244/6. Peter Siddle also didn't cause any trouble as he was trapped in front of the stumps by Jadeja.A Earlier, debutant Shikhar Dhawan received his Test cap from Sachin Tendulkar before the start of play.A Australia made four changes. Haddin replaced Matthew Wade, Smith came in for Shane Watson, Nathan Lyon for Glenn Maxwell and Starc for James Patinson.
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