Murali Vijay hits first Test hundred while Sachin Tendulkar remains unbeaten on 191 after day three in Bangalore.
|Dhoni leaps in the air after catching Clarke out of his ground as Australia’s big guns failed to fire on day four [AFP]|
Australia were in danger of falling to a 2-0 series defeat as India’s spinners ruled the fourth day of the second Test in Bangalore.
India reduced Australia to 202 for seven at the close, with Mitchell Johnson and Nathan Hauritz facing the task of extending a slender lead of 185 runs for the touring side, who lost the first Test by one wicket.
Captain Ricky Ponting made a defiant 72 to hold the innings together before falling to Zaheer Khan after tea to set up a gripping final day.
The tourists were let down by their top order which struggled against Indian spinners Pragyan Ojha and Harbhajan Singh.
Ojha removed in-form opener Shane Watson, Michael Clarke and Mike Hussey, while Harbhajan accounted for Simon Katich and Marcus North.
“I’m not satisfied. I will be satisfied if we can get them out early tomorrow and get those runs,” left-arm spinner Ojha told the Neo Cricket channel.
“Whatever they got is gettable but we have to bat sensibly tomorrow. The wicket is turning.”
|Day four scorecard|
Australia first innings 478
S Watson lbw b Ojha 31
India resumed on a commanding 435 for five and Sachin Tendulkar cruised to his sixth Test double century before falling for 214.
Tendulkar, who hit two sixes and 22 fours, became debutant Peter George’s first test victim when he dragged a delivery on to his stumps and Hauritz polished off the tail as India slumped to 495 all out.
“There was not much in this wicket, so we found other ways to create opportunity and take chances,” George said.
“We have three wickets in hand, we’ll try to get as many runs as possible tomorrow and bowl them out to win the match.”
After conceding a 17-run first-innings lead to India, Australia raced to 58 in 16 overs before losing three top-order batsmen in quick succession.
Ponting figured in useful half-century stands with Michael Hussey and Tim Paine to bolster the middle order.
Openers Watson and Katich had started well, but the advent of the spinners pegged the tourists back.
Watson was trapped lbw by left-arm spinner Ojha, missing a half-century for the first time on the tour.
His dismissal was followed by two more wickets in the space of seven runs.
Katich was caught behind by keeper and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni off Harbhajan, while Clarke was stumped by Dhoni off Ojha as the batsman stretched out to reach a delivery that dipped sharply.
Left-armer Zaheer Khan removed Ponting after the Australian captain had struck one six and seven fours, while Paine fell to Sreesanth just six runs later.
Ojha returned 3-57 and Harbhajan had 2-63 as India chased their first victory at Bangalore since 1995.