Australia have been put on the mat at 102 for 4 as their batsmen appeared to be playing on a completely different pitch compared to their counterparts who made 469. The visitors have a long way to get anyway closer to even get to the follow-on target of 270 as they are left with just Michael Hussey and the lower half. This was after Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma gave a perfect start removing their respective bunnies – Hayden and Ponting cheaply. Debutant Leg spinner Amit Mishra gave a perfect ending by getting the wicket of Michael Clarke in the final over of the day’s play.
Earlier in the day, former Captain Sourav Ganguly worked his way to his 16th hundred, his first one against Australia at home. Giving him company was Skipper MS Dhoni, who took the game away from the visitors with a smashing knock of 92 from 124 balls with 8 fours and four sixes. Ganguly played the ideal knock of converting his overnight half century into three figures, he made 102 from 225 balls with 8 fours. The left hander in his comeback phase of his career has been a master of putting up some good partnerships in most of his knocks. This time along with Dhoni, he put on 109 runs which took India close to 450. The Indians had to settle for 469 with Dhoni being the last man out after he was wrongly given out lbw. The Indian Captain deserved what was going to be his second hundred but missed out by just 8 runs.
Australia’s reply was spoilt by a wicket in the first over and a wicket in the final over. It was a second time that Hayden and Clarke have experienced that in this series. Hayden was cleaned up for a duck in the second delivery of the innings from Zaheer Khan which swung back through the gate. Ricky Ponting’s celebration time on this tour seemed to have ended with a first innings century on Day 1 of the Bangalore Test. And this time also, his struggle against young Ishant Sharma continued with yet another indipper from the tall lanky fast bowler causing his downfall. Ponting (5) lasted just the 23 balls while Australia struggled at 17 for 2.
India made sure that the runs were hard to come by and the pressure was being sustained by the four specialist bowlers including the two spinners. In what was just his 18th delivery, leggie Amit Mishra got his maiden test scalp when he forced a weak frontfoot defence from Katich (33 from 65 with 6 fours) to roll back onto the stumps. Australia were in huge trouble at 62 for 3 and it needed some huge repair work from Michael Hussey and Michael Clarke who fought it out until the last over of the day’s play. Amit Mishra decided to come round the sticks on Dhoni’s insistence and instead of bowling a leg break in the rough outside the legstump as expected by Clarke, bowled a wrong one. That Amit Mishra googly landed in the perfect line and length to defeat Clarke’s frontfoot defence and strike him plumb infront of the stumps.
Michael Clarke made 23 from 60 balls with 3 fours while Hussey stayed unbeaten on 37 and the left hander holds the key if the Australians have to get a decent score. Australia ended Day 2 at a vulnerable 102 for 4 in 40.5 overs which means that they were kept under the lid by the Indians!