Hyderabad, Mar 2: India called the shots on the opening day of the second Test against Australia here at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Saturday.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ravindra Jadeja took three wickets apiece as Australia were reduced to 237/9 and captain Michael Clarke made a surprise declaration to bowl 3 overs at the Indian batsmen. At stumps, India were 5/0.
Yet again, Clarke led from the front with a fighting 91. He was well assisted by wicketkeeper Matthew Wade (62). If not for their crucial 145-run partnership for the fifth wicket, Australia would have folded for a much lesser score.
Clarke and Wade held the innings together from lunch to tea. But, in the final session of play, Indian spinners struck as the visitors slumped from 208/5 to 237/9 in 83.1 overs. They had started the final session on 187/4. Harbhajan Singh had two wickets while R Ashwin had one.
The lowest declared total in Test history is Australia 32/7 (13.5 overs, 8-ball overs) declared against England in 1950. The last team to declare on day one of the Test was Pakistan 130/9 against England at Lord's in 1974. When Clarke declared, Xavier Doherty (0) and James Pattinson (1) were at the crease.
It was Bhuvneshwar who triggered Australia's initial collapse with fine swing bowling. After toiling hard in the middle session, Indian spinners were back in control of the game.
At tea, Australia 187/4
Captain Michael Clarke proved why he is the best batsman in the Australian line-up as he notched up another half century to lead the team's revival against India in the second Test on Saturday.
Clarke, in the company of Matthew Wade, took Australia to 187/4 in 60 overs at tea on the first day. The duo had come together at 63/4 and has ensured that India did not drive home the early advantage. There was no wickets for Indians in the second session as Clarke and Wade have so far associated for 124 runs in 38.4 overs.
Skipper Clarke is unbeaten on 68 and Wade is 55 not out at the break. Clarke hit eight fours and a six in his 132-ball knock. Wade has seven fours from 119 deliveries.
At lunch, Australia 83/4
Paceman Bhuvneshwar Kumar took three wickets (3/36 in 9 overs) to put India on top against Australia in the opening session of Day 1 of the second Test here on Saturday. At lunch, Australia were in trouble at 83/4 in 28 overs.
Opting to bat first, Australia were rocked early on by the triple strikes of right-arm fast bowler Bhuvneshwar. Playing his second Test, Bhuvneshwar took the wickets of David Warner, Ed Cowan and Shane Watson.
At the break, skipper Michael Clarke (20) and wicketkeeper Matthew Wade (2) at the not out batsmen.
The Uttar Pradesh youngster had gone wicketless in the first Test and today he got his maiden Test scalp when he had Warner bowled for 6. He dismissed the other opener Cowan (4) LBW, though he was lucky to win the verdict from umpire Marais Erasmus as the ball had pitched outside legstump.
Watson, who was looking good at the crease, was sent packing by Bhuvneshwar. This time, the LBW decision was right and the Australian No. 4 was out for 23.
After the opening pace attack of Bhuvneshwar and Ishant Sharma, captain MS Dhoni introduced R Ashwin in the 12th over. The offspinner continued his impressive Chennai form where he took 12 wickets. He was exceptional in his first six overs of which five were maidens and conceded just one run and had one success.
Ashwin struck in the sixth over as Phil Hughes was snaffled by Dhoni as the left-hander played a cut shot. Ashwin's bowling figures read 6-5-1-1. However, in his next over, Clarke broke his hold by hitting him for a six.
Australia opt to bat first
Australia captain Michael Clarke won his second successive toss and had no hesitation in opting to bat first against India in the second Test here on Saturday.
Australia made two changes from the first Test. Offspinner Nathan Lyon and left-arm paceman Mitchell Starc were dropped. India retained the same XI. India won the first Test in Chennai by 8 wickets.
Australia handed Test debut to offspinning all-rounder Glenn Maxwell. He was handed the Baggy Green Test cap by former batsman Matthew Hayden. Maxwell is the 433rd Test player for Australia. Xavier Doherty is the other spinner for Australia.
Last month, Maxwell was picked by IPL team Mumbai Indians for $1million.
Local boy Pragyan Ojha will have to wait again to play a Test. He missed out on the first Test too.
The pitch is dry with lot of cracks which might open up as the match progresses. Clarke said spin will play a big part in this game as well.
India captain MS Dhoni said the surface is different from Chennai and has a bit of pace and bounce.
This is a four-match series. The third Test is in Mohali from March 14 while the fourth and final match is from March 22.
India: MS Dhoni (captain), Virender Sehwag, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Australia: Michael Clarke (captain), Ed Cowan, David Warner, Phil Hughes, Shane Watson, Matthew Wade, Glenn Maxwell, Peter Siddle, Moises Henriques, James Pattinson, Xavier Doherty.
First Test result: India won by 8 wickets