Clarke's double, Ponting's ton add to India's fury

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Published: Wednesday, January 4, 2012, 8:14 [IST]
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Clarke's maiden double at SCG's 100th

Sydney, Jan 4: Aussies totally in command as skipper Michael Clarke scores his maiden double ton, Ricky Ponting (134) registers a century after two years and 34 innings as they reached 482/4 at stumps on Day 2. Mike Hussey (54*) played magnificently to score his 28th Test fifty. Clarke and Hussey's knock helped Aussies lead by 291 runs in the first innings of the second Test at Sydney on Wednesday.

[Scorecard: Second Test; India Vs Australia, Sydney Cricket Ground]

Michael Clarke was at his best on Wednesday as he the flamboyant batsman registered an unbeaten 251 runs, marking his individual best as he scored his maiden double ton at Sydney Cricket Ground. Michael Clarke, survived a chance as he was dropped by Ishant Sharma while he was on 182.

Indian bowlers struggled to restrict Aussies as the bowling had no variation. Probably Dhoni did give up sometime during the first and the second session of the day when he asked Kohli to bowl, and a few field placements also ensured that the captain was looking at setting up a defensive field. If Aussie bowlers can get assistance on such a track then why can't Indian bowlers get the same?

If the pitch has become flat and has become a batsman friendly track even then, it wouldn't be the same for India while they come into bat tomorrow. This could be due to pressure. After conceding a lead of 400 if India come into bat, obviously the total will be playing on their minds and that will ensure a defensive approach from the start, fearing a defeat and a series loss.

Coming back to the day's play, similar to Sachin's impending ton, Ricky Ponting's was also the most awaited one. The legend made it look very simple as he looked very confident while driving the ball an during his stroke-play. A magnificent 134 showed that Aussies are going for the kill after taking a 1-0 lead in the series.

Michael Clarke's spectacular innings, one of the highlights of the second session on Day 2. With Mickael Hussey (30*) and Clarke (215*) at the crease, the lead is bound to go past 300.

Aussies clearly dominated the first session on Day 2 and also the second Test as they have already put on 236/3 at lunch, taking a lead of 45 in their first innings. With 7 more wickets in hand, Team India face tough challenge.

Resuming play from their over-night score of 116/3, Ricky Ponting (134) and Michael Clarke (215*) added 288 runs for the 4th wicket. With this partnership the duo have changed the look of the game, as Aussies dominated the second Test match with ease.

Zaheer's 3 wickets in the final session on Day 1 assured that Team India is off to a good start but the way Ricky Ponting and Clarke batted, there was no looking back for the Aussies as they went on piling runs. Though they were off to a shaky start, things changed within sometime.

The first session completely belonged to Ponting and Clarke as they played confidently against the Indian bowlers. Having bowled 29 overs on Day 2, Indian bowlers have gone wicketless for more than a session.

Why did Team India incorporate a defensive approach on Day 2 is one question that raises quite a few eyebrows, which time and again proves that Team India aren't very aggressive on field.

Looks like its yet another Duncan Fletcher inspiration, as Dhoni has various field placements on Day 2.

Indian bowlers were made to toil as the duo posted their centuries not allowing any bowler to settle down. Aussies were at ease while they faced Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma and Ashwin. The man who troubled them in the last session on Day 1, Zaheer Khan also opted for a defensive field which made it look even more easier. The pressure built seemed to ease within minutes into the second day.

India managed to get the pricy wicket of Ricky Ponting on Day 2, but not before he scored his 40th ton. Aussies have added  366 runs today for the loss of only one wicket. This reveals a lot, showing the degree of Indian bowling, inexperience costing dear. Now, they have to dismiss 6 Aussie batsmen as soon as possible on Day 3. With the pitch expected to turn, Ashwin will be in focus.

Aussies banging right on target, a mammoth total is on cards. If things need to change, Team India need to do something spectacular early on Day 3 as they have not been impressive on Day 2.


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