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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014
India spinners dominate proceedings at Kotla
PTI
New Delhi, March 22, 2013
First Published: 09:22 IST(22/3/2013)
Last Updated: 17:57 IST(22/3/2013)

India's quest for a historicclean sweep started on a good note as the host spinners continued their dominance over Australia to take the honours on the opening day of the fourth and final cricket Test in New Delhi on Friday.

Australia, sans their injured skipper Michael Clarke, managed 231 for eight at stumps on the first day after opting to bat on a dodgy Feroze Shah Kotla strip.

The visitors' total was given a semblance of respectability by the 53-run eight-wicket partnership between Steven Smith and Peter Siddle followed by an unbroken 43-run ninth-wicket stand between Siddle and James Pattinson.

Phillip Hughes, with a quick fire 45 in the top-order, and Steven Smith, with a patient 46 in the middle-order, were the two major contributors.

The gutsy Siddle (47 batting) also fought hard, adding some crucial runs with Pattinson.

Ravichandran Ashwin (4/40) was the wrecker-in-chief and was ably complemented by Ravindra Jadeja (2/34) and Ishant Sharma (2/35).

If the first day's pitch was any indication, the match is unlikely to go into the fifth day as the considerable wear and tear made life difficult for the Aussie batsmen, majority of whom didn't seem to possess the requisite technique to counter the questions asked by the Jadeja-Ashwin duo.

After Ishant provided a couple of breakthroughs in the opening session, Ashwin and Jadeja ripped through the middle-order in the post-lunch session, helped by some atrocious shot selection on part of the opposition batsmen.

From a relatively secure 94 for two at lunch, the visitors suddenly looked in a hurry and paid dearly for their indiscretion losing wickets in a heap.

Credit should also be given to India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni for rotating his bowlers successfully. He frequently changed the ends from which each one of them operated, thereby making life difficult for the batsmen.


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