Adelaide: India lost the wickets of Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid to slip to 61 for 2 at stumps on day two of the final Test in Adelaide, trailing the hosts by 543 runs. Gautam Gambhir (30) and Sachin Tendulkar (12) were on the crease for the visitors who face a mountain to climb on Thursday and beyond.
Once again, the visitors got off to a terrible start. Sehwag fell for 18 to Peter Siddle's first ball, closing the face of his bat early and getting a leading edge that was brilliantly held by the bowler in his follow-through. In the very next over, Ben Hilfenhaus bowled Rahul Dravid for 1. The ball hit Dravid's elbow and crashed into the stumps, leaving India tottering at 31 for 2.
However, Gambhir and Tendulkar negotiated the remaining overs without and fuss, with the former being the dominant partner.
Earlier, double-centuries from Michael Clarke (210) and Ricky Ponting (221) provided the backbone for Australia, who declared their first innings on 604 for 7. Clarke and Ponting's 386-run stand was the highest ever at the Adelaide Oval but they just failed to overtake Australia's best for the fourth wicket - 388.
Starting the day on 335 for 3, it didn't take long for Australia's premier batsmen to continue where they left off on Tuesday as Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav all leaked runs in the first hour.
With little fuss, both Clarke and Ponting brought up their double-centuries. India's best chance of a breakthrough came when Ponting, on 186, drove the ball back to Ishant who failed to hold onto a relatively easy return catch.
The star duo was separated two balls after lunch when Clarke was bowled by Yadav. Three more wickets fell before tea as the Australians went for their shots on a good batting wicket.
Ponting stood firm and brought up his double-century in the presence of Mike Hussey who added 25 to the total before he was brilliantly run out by Gambhir from silly point. Ponting looked to push for quick runs and was dropped for the second time in the day when VVS Laxman put him down at midwicket. He eventually fell to the hook shot when he found Sachin Tendulkar in the deep, off Zaheer.
Siddle failed to make much of an impact, but Ryan Harris and Brad Haddin managed to get the hosts through to tea. After the break, the pair hit some attacking shots to get the score past 600 before Clarke decided to declare the innings.