Australia's Johnson rocks India in first Test

Published: Saturday, October 11, 2008, 12:47 [IST]
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Australian left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Johnson grabbed three wickets to rip through India's top order on the third morning of the first Test here on Saturday.

The tall 26-year-old Queenslander flourished in his maiden Test on Indian soil as the hosts, replying to Australia's first innings total of 430, groped to 133-4 by lunch.

Rahul Dravid was at the crease on 35 and fellow veteran Sourav Ganguly, who retires after the four-Test series, was on seven.

It was a session of gripping cricket as Johnson and Brett Lee made India's batsmen struggle on a dual-paced wicket where deliveries rose alarmingly or kept low at times.

Sachin Tendulkar, needing 77 runs to overtake retired West Indian Brian Lara as Test cricket's highest run-getter, was dismissed for just 13.

India lost the overnight pair of openers Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag within the first five overs after the hosts resumed at 68 without loss.

Gambhir was trapped leg-before by Lee for 20, while Sehwag edged a wide ball from Johnson to lone slip Matthew Hayden after making 45.

Tendulkar, playing his first competitive match since the Test series in Sri Lanka in August due to a shoulder injury, was greeted by a ear-splitting roar from 25,000 home fans at the Chinnaswamy stadium.

He opened his account by slashing Lee to the point boundary, but was lucky to survive the next over when he was stranded down the wicket as Michael Clarke's throw narrowly missed the stumps.

Tendulkar had another escape before he had reached double figures, pushing a short ball from Johnson just out of the reach of debutant Cameron White at short point.

Johnson, however, had the final say as Tendulkar patted a slower delivery straight to White in the same position to reduce India to 94-3.

Venkatsai Laxman, another veteran fighting to retain his place in the Test side, failed to score as he edged Johnson to wicket-keeper Brad Haddin.

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