Scorecard | Action in images | Day 1 Round-up | Ponting rules out retirement
'The Wall' breached yet again
This is a sight that has now become disturbingly familiar - Rahul Dravid's stumps being pegged back. He was clean bowled for the sixth time in the series, though Dravid could consider himself a tad unfortunate. Dravid was slightly late in moving forward to a length delivery from Ben Hilfenhaus abd the ball hit him near his elbow guard before crashing on to the stumps.
Earlier, in the second over of India's first innings, stand-in captain Virender Sehwag got a life when Ed Cowan failed to hold on to a catch at midwicket off Hilfenhaus' bowling. Sehwag (18), who was on 5 at the time, didn't make the most of his fortune, and was soon after brilliantly caught by Peter Siddle off his own bowling. Ishant might want to take some lessons from Siddle on taking catches off one's own bowling!
Ponting falls short
The former Australia skipper made 221 off 404 balls (516 minutes, 21x4) before his knock was ended by Zaheer Khan. Ponting loves the pull shot and usually plays it well, but on this occasion he failed to keep the shot and the catch was well taken by Sachin Tendulkar at deep midwicket. As a result, Ponting narrowly missed out on surpassing his personal best at the Adelaide Oval.
Ponting has scored six double centuries (three of those against India) in his Test career - 257 vs India at Melbourne in December 2003; 242 vs India at Adelaide in December 2003; 221 vs India at Adelaide in January 2012; 209 vs Pakistan at Hobart in January 2010; 207 vs Pakistan at Sydney in January 2005 and 206 vs West Indies at Port of Spain in April 2003.
A first for Saha
Wriddhiman Saha, who is 'keeping in Tests for the first time, has been impressive behind the stumps and he would have loved not to have any byes against his name. But, it wasn't to be as Saha conceded three byes - his first in Test - in the 136th over of the Australia's first innings. It wasn't his fault though as a tossed up delivery from Ashwin pitched outside the leg stump and then turned sharply down leg, giving Saha no chance of collecting it.
Rare moment of brilliance
India have been sloppy in the field and grassed a fair number of catches in the series. So, when VVS Laxman failed to latch on to a catch offered by Ponting when he was on 215, it only reiterated that shoddy fielding and butter fingers ought to be one of the many points for India to mull over and improve on after the series.
But, Gautam Gambhir salvaged India's fielding to an extent courtesy his fast hands while fielding at silly point. Mike Hussey (25) had played a delivery from Ashwin past silly point. Gambhir though stretched out his right hand and lobbed the ball back to Saha who whipped off the bails before Hussey could regain his ground.
Ponting and Clarke in record books
Yadav got through Clarke's defence in the first over of the post-lunch session to finally give India a breakthrough after 94.4 overs. Clarke (210) and Ponting, who scored the sixth double century of his Test career soon after, added 386 runs for the fourth wicket.
The pair set a new record for the highest partnership at the Adelaide Oval as they passed the 341 runs set by South Africa's Eddie Barlow and Graeme Pollock in 1964.
Clarke and Ponting also established a new partnership record for Tests between Australia and India as they eclipsed the 376-run stand that Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman added for the fifth wicket at the Eden Gardens in March 2001.
India's bowlers didn't bowl too many wicket-taking deliveries in the first session, but the few they did failed to break the Ponting and Clarke partnership. Ponting had a near shave off Ishant Sharma in the second over of the day when the pacer got the former Australia captain to get an outside edge, but it flew between slips and gully enroute to the boundary. Later in the session, Ishant put down a regulation caught and bowled chance offered by Ponting. Ishant has been ruing that luck hasn't gone his way in the series, but
when he had the chance, he failed to grab it.
Clarke just about managed to fend off a brute of a delivery from Umesh Yadav and the outside edge just flew over the gully; and a couple of overs later, the Australia skipper almost chopped an Ashwin delivery back on to his stumps.
Positive start by Clarke and Ponting
The night's break hasn't made any difference to Ricky Ponting and Australia captain Michael Clarke, who started Day 2 with the same purpose they went into stumps yesterday. Keep in mind it's yet another hot day in Adelaide and the pitch has flattened out, so while it's hard work for India's bowlers, Clarke and Ponting haven't allowed them to get into any sort of rhythm.
Clarke started with a flurry of boundaries and brought up his 150 in the third over of the day and Ponting soon got to that landmark with two boundaries in the same over off Ishant Sharma. The flow of boundaries continued from the batsmen even as their running between the wickets remained top notch. The Indian bowlers, well, just haven't been able to string together even one decent and consistent over so far today.
There's hardly any purchase for the pace bowlers and India must be ruing leaving out Pragyan Ojha from the playing XI. That's nothing to take away from Clarke and Ponting's dominance though because they have been brilliant.
India's offbreak R Ashwin sounds mature and level-headed most times he speaks, but he got it horribly wrong when he spoke to reporters at the end of the first day's play at the Adelaide Oval after Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke had dominated the Indian bowling attack yet again. Ashwin said: "Teams have to play, someone has to lose so nobody is embarrassed in the dressing room. We're all quite happy to keep coming out and keep trying again and again. Nobody is embarrassed, I'm very sure about that."
Well, if that's the attitude of the Indian team Down Under, is it any surprise that despite three heavy defeats against Australia, and their seventh consecutive thrashing in away Tests, the squad has failed woefully to improve its performances and learn from mistakes. The negative body language, the lack of will to put up a semblance of a fight and questionable tactics in those comprehensive losses has still not made the Indian players question their performances and attitude away from home.
If the players and the BCCI aren't embarrassed despite the fact they ought to be, it would be fair to say a fair number of the Indian team's supporters would certainly be squirming at the abject surrenders in England and Australia.