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India blunder, Aus plunder

India batsmen flounder again; Warner hits a scintillating hundred to leave visitors gasping for breath. Rohit Bhaskar report. Scorecard | India first innings | Fastest Test centuries | Loose top

india Updated: Jan 14, 2012 00:57 IST
Rohit Bhaskar
Rohit Bhaskar
Hindustan Times
Michael Clarke,hindustan times,news

If you thought those Friday the 13th movies were scary, then the scenes on this Friday the 13th at the WACA Ground would probably leave you mortified!

Jason from the woods and Freddy Krueger weren't there, that perhaps was the only respite for India. Even with those two reel-life merchants of death not around, the visitors were handed a deathblow by Australia's own merchants of terror.

Take charge

First, a four-pronged pace attack made a mockery of a batting line-up that has over 50,000 Test runs between them, cleaning them up for a paltry 161 in just over two sessions. In the closing session, David Warner took center stage with a murderous 69-ball century, the fourth fastest in Test history, that saw Australia end Day One on 149 for no loss off just 23 overs, a mere 12 runs behind the visitors with 10 wickets in hand.

Hop and jump
India got a taste of what lay in store from the first ball of the innings. Ryan Harris got one to bounce rear up and Gautam Gambhir could do nothing but take a body blow.

Three overs later, Australia drew first blood. Ben Hilfenhaus bowled the delivery of the innings to get rid of Virender Sehwag for a four-ball duck. The ball swerved away after pitching on middle and caught the edge of a tentative Sehwag's bat. The catch flew comfortably to Ricky Ponting at second slip.

Rahul Dravid struck a little while longer, but scored precious little. His 35-ball stint came to an end when he was bowled, for the fourth time in five innings. Peter Siddle pitched one on leg-stump that hit Dravid's pad and trickled on to the stumps.

After a brief period where no wickets fell, Gambhir and Sachin Tendulkar were dismissed in back-to-back overs. Tendulkar was leg-before to Harris for 15, while Gambhir was caught fishing outside off-stump again, nicking one to Brad Haddin off Hilfenhaus.

The partnership
VVS Laxman and Virat Kohli then put together the biggest partnership of the innings, a 68-run stand, before Kohli perished to a loose shot, hitting a wide Siddle delivery to David Warner at point.

Laxman was gone in Siddle's next over, edging one to Michael Clarke at first slip. Mitchell Starc and Hilfenhaus them cleaned out the tail to end India's innings at 161 a few overs after tea.

In the final session, David Warner showed the perceived demons in the pitch lay more in the mind of the Indian batters than the wicket itself, stroking 13 boundaries and three massive sixes en route his 80-ball 104. Even the normally sedate Ed Cowan had raced along to 40 off 58.

First Published: Jan 13, 2012 07:55 IST