Australia 232-9d (Clarke 91) v
Second Test, Hyderabad, day one
Report by Chetan Narula in Hyderabad
India finished day one of the second Test versus Australia, in Hyderabad, well on top. At the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Uppal, on the outskirts of the city, they restricted the visitors to a paltry 237 for nine declared, before initiating their first innings.
Michael Clarke had probably thought of a higher score when he won the toss and elected to bat first. The pitch bore a dry look, yet seemed firmer than the one in Chennai and played right through the day, without breaking up from the word go. Australia made two changes, dropping Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Starc, while bringing in Glenn Maxwell and Xavier Doherty as their replacements. India went in with an unchanged side.
The wickets started falling in the first session itself, but this time not to Indian spinners. Bhuvneshwar Kumar had gone wicket-less in his first Test, but made quick amends in the second one here. He got two quick wickets to leave Australia reeling at 15 for two, bowling David Warner (6) with a peach of an in-swinger while Ed Cowan (4) was unlucky to be given out LBW off a delivery that pitched outside leg.
Shane Watson (23) and Phil Hughes (19) tried to resurrect the innings, but the former was out LBW trying to attack a short ball. The delivery jagged back in and hit him low, as Kumar picked up his third wicket. Hughes was out caught behind to MS Dhoni, who took a juggling catch off R Ashwin. Australia went to lunch at 83 for four, in deep trouble.
But the complexion of the match changed in the second session as Michael Clarke and Matthew Wade negotiated the bowling with ease. The duo added 145 runs for the fifth wicket to help their team escape a certain collapse. Wade scored a chanceless half-century, making 62 runs off 144 balls, with eight fours. He gave great support to Clarke who was solid as ever against both spin and pace, carrying on his fine form from Chennai. They took tea at 187 for four, adding 104 runs in the post-lunch session without any loss.
But in the final session of the day, India took firm hold on the proceedings as Wade tried a cut-shot off Harbhajan Singh and was out caught. From there, the spinners were on top, as he and Ravindra Jadeja bowled in tandem. Moises Henriques (5) couldn’t repeat his debut performance, while Maxwell (13) disappointed on his, both scalped by Jadeja. Peter Siddle was out LBW to Harbhjan for a duck. But it was Clarke who was running out of partners and patience, who then decided to launch a counter-attack. It didn’t come off and he was bowled for 91, off 186 balls, with nine fours and one six.
With around fifteen minutes left in the day, Clarke declared the innings closed at 237 for nine and it surprised most people at the ground. The Indians padded up and sent out Virender Sehwag and Murali Vijay, who negotiated a tricky three overs to finish the first day at five for none, 232 runs behind.
For India, Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the pick of the bowlers with three for 53, while Jadeja finished with three for 33. Harbhajan Singh took two for 52, while Ashwin found little success and returned one for 41. Ishant Sharma went wicket-less in his seventeen overs.
India lead the four-match series one-nil.
Select quotes from the day:
Matthew Wade: “There was no question of me not playing today. I slept well and woke up in the morning and just checked my vision, then was ready to go. The new ball was doing a little bit and the pitch had some variable bounce. It was a proper day one wicket, unlike Chennai, but will break up soon and take turn from day three possibly. We would have liked a few more runs, but declared in the hunt of some early wickets. It didn’t work out, but we can still bowl India out and take a lead, it is that sort of a pitch.”
Bhuvneshwar Kumar: “Playing Test cricket for India was always my dream. I am happy to take some wickets, especially my first Test wicket. But I cannot say which of the three were more special, for David Warner, Ed Cowan and Shane Watson are all good players. They are all special wickets for me. The new ball was doing something, so I just concentrated on bowling wicket to wicket, and let the pitch do the rest.”
© Cricket World 2013
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