Adelaide: Australia were 50 for 3 in their second innings at stumps on the third day of the fourth Test against India in Adelaide, and overall lead of 382 runs. Michael Clarke was on 9 and Ricky Ponting on 1 when the players left the field for the day.
Virender Sehwag rolled the dice and opened the bowling with R Ashwin and he did not disappoint the skipper. David Warner was the first batsmen to be dismissed, giving a return catch to Ashwin for 28.
Shaun Marsh, who has had a disastrous Test series with the bat against India, failed to open his account when he was trapped in front of the wickets by Zaheer Khan. Three balls later, Ashwin claimed his second wicket of the innings trapping Ed Cowan for 10 to leave Australia in a bit of a bother at 41 for 3. But then the star duo of Clarke and Ponting saw off the day without any fuss.
Earlier, Virat Kohli proved that there is some life in the Indian batting order with his maiden Test century. However, his effort went in vain as it was not enough to stop India from incurring a 332-run first-innings deficit. Kohli top-scored with 116 as Australia decided not to enforce the follow-on.
Destined to lose the series after humbling defeats in the first three Tests and chasing Australia's 604 for 7, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir and VVS Laxman departed before lunch and India looked to be flirting with the follow-on. Having seen his more experienced colleagues depart all too easily, Kohli - with some help from Wriddhiman Saha - provided some much-needed resistance. Kohli and Saha put on 114 for the sixth wicket and lasted all but the entire afternoon session.
The duo mixed up aggression with patience as they forced the Australian bowlers to toil in the afternoon heat. Such was the comfortable nature with which the batsmen progressed that Clarke was left rushing through part-timers and spinners in an effort to bring about the arrival of the second new ball.
Ryan Harris gave the home side a timely boost with the new ball by removing Saha when the batsman shouldered arms to an in-swinger which hit his off stump in the final over before tea. With the resistance broken, Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus ran through the remainder of the order, with the former picking up his first five-wicket haul of the series.
With the option of sending India back in to bat, Clarke decided against enforcing the follow-on.