Clarke Test: Aussies win by an innings and 68 runs

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Published: Friday, January 6, 2012, 8:06 [IST]
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Yet another humiliating loss for India

Sydney, Jan 6: Ashwin's maiden fifty could not stop the inevitable as Hilfenhaus claims 5 wickets to help Aussies win by an innings and 68 runs in order to take a 2-0 lead in the series. Indian wickets tumbled in quick succession as Ashwin and Zaheer Khan delayed their victory for a short while.

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

Ben Hilfenhaus grabbed 5 wickets in the second innings to make it 8 in the second Test as he played a vital role in Australia restricting India to 291 and 400 in the second Test match at Sydney.

Indeed this match exposed India's weakness even more as they struggled to score runs and also showed how much they bank on opening partnerships. None of the batsmen stayed for a long time, did not shoulder responsibilities as India surrendered meakly on Day 1 of the second Test. There was no looking back after Aussies had posted a mammoth 659/4 decl in their first innings. India infact, played defensively which has been a problem with the team off late, which needs to be sorted out.

India's tail provided the fireworks again as the knocks of Ashwin (62) off 76 balls and Zaheer Khan (35) off 26 balls tell the story, as added 56 runs for the 8th wicket. Zaheer's knock included 5 boundaries and a six while Ashwin's knock includes 9 boundaries and a six.

It was indeed very refreshing to see Ashwin and Ishant Sharma adding 42 runs for the ninth wicket as Ashwin scored his maiden Test fifty helping India reach 400 when it looked quite impossible at 286/6.

Earlier in the day, Sachin Tendulkar, scored his 65th fifty, but couldn't get to the three figure mark which would have been his 100th international hundred, as he was dismissed by Michael Clarke for 80. After scoring his fifty, suddenly the nervousness took charge as he was scoring runs slowly after crossing 75.

The second session reaped benefits for Aussies as they got a bonanza of 4 wickets, Sachin, Laxman, Dhoni and Kohli all got out due to their poor shot selection.

Hilfenhaus appealed after he caught Dhoni off his bowling, as replays confirmed his dismissal while he had scored just 2 runs.

One thing that disappoints everyone is that, Dhoni plays a good knock when it is not needed, when it was needed in the second innings, he got out carelessly, without shouldering any responsibility being the captain of the team.

Hilfenhaus enjoyed his good run as he picked up 4 wickets in the second innings to increase the tally to 7 in the second Test.

The only plus point was the first session on Day 4 was went smoothly as reached 243/3 without any hassle. Gautam Gambhir (83) and Sachin's (80) added 68 runs for the 3rd wicket before Siddle broke the partnership while the score read 168/3.

Gautam Gambhir was at his best in the last session on Day 3 and during the first session on Day 4 as he played with confidence which was even more encouraging. Though he missed out on a hundred, this indeed was his survival knock as calls for his head was making waves due to his consistent poor run. With this knock, he has silenced the critics and also helped India's resurgence.

Pattinson and Hilfenhaus looked ineffective this morning, proving the fact that the pitch had nothing for bowlers. Gambhir and Tendulkar played with ease which was a very refreshing sight.

VVS Laxman too started off well, which increased expectations as he too fell short, as he was dismissed by Hilfenhaus for 66.

The last time he played at the ground in 2002-04, he was involved in a 353 run partnership with Sachin Tendulkar for the 4th wicket. Again, the duo set the platform for another big innings, as Laxman (66) scored his 56th fifty but couldn't continue the good show as Sachin got out for 80 while Laxman too followed the master's foot steps while he was on 66.

The duo added 103 runs for the 4th wicket which the second highest partnership in India's inning. From 271/4 India slipped to 310/7 as they lost Sachin (80), Laxman (66), Dhoni (2) and Kohli (9) in quick succession. With Ashwin and Ishant Sharma at the crease, what else can India expect, which is already staring a defeat at Sydney, once upon a time a very good ground for India.

Sydney's 100th Test though records India's yet another humiliating loss, it did get its share as records tumbled at Sydney as Clarke and Ponting created history.

M S Dhoni, during the presentation ceremony agreed that they were down in the first session of play on Day 1, which cost them the match. " Since players have got fifties in this test, we can convert them into big ones in the next Test at Perth". " A few cricketers got out to very good deliveries, containign Clarke was a tough job", said Dhoni.

Undoubtedly, with a maiden triple ton, a series of records, Michael Clarke was adjudged the Man of the Match.

"It was a tough wicket to take 10 wickets but our bowlers were brilliant. I've spoken about consistency and our guys are doing that now. In any team you need experience and youth and I think now this Australian team has it", said Clarke after his team's win against India in the second Test at Sydney.

Clarke also said, he was relieved as Ponting also got his hundred and more importantly his return to form was exceptional. Indeed he was very happy to have got a pricy wicket of Sachin Tendulkar who fell 20 runs short of another milestone.

Now, with 2-0 up in the series, Aussies are seated comfortably at the top as Team India need to get their basics right and without any inhibition as they have already lost two matches, India can afford to make some changes in the playing XI.


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