Tag Archives: adelaide

Andrew Flintoff claims Ashes double-header may be England swansong for Kevin Pietersen

Ashes double-header may be Pietersen's England farewell, says Flintoff

PUBLISHED:

11:54 GMT, 18 April 2013

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UPDATED:

14:49 GMT, 18 April 2013

Former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff believes Kevin Pietersen may consider his England future early next year.

Pietersen has only been back in the fold for two series following last summer's dramatic exile from the international set-up and is due to miss the forthcoming home Tests against New Zealand due to a knee injury.

England's star batsman was left out of the final Test against South Africa last year having sent 'provocative' messages to friends in the Proteas side and given a confrontational press conference at Headingley.

Fore! Freddie ejoys a round at the Colin Montgomerie Golf Clinic at The Devere Mottram Hall Hotel in Cheshire

Fore! Freddie ejoys a round at the Colin Montgomerie Golf Clinic at The Devere Mottram Hall Hotel in Cheshire

Fore! Freddie ejoys a round at the Colin Montgomerie Golf Clinic at The Devere Mottram Hall Hotel in Cheshire

Fore! Freddie ejoys a round at the Colin Montgomerie Golf Clinic at The Devere Mottram Hall Hotel in Cheshire

Farewell Kevin Pietersen could quit the international stage after this year's Ashes double-header, according to former England team-mate Andrew Flintoff (below)

Farewell Kevin Pietersen could quit the international stage after this year's Ashes double-header, according to former England team-mate Andrew Flintoff (below)

Pietersen's last Tests

THE ASHES IN ENGLAND 2013
July 10-14 – First Test, Trent Bridge
July 18-22 – Second Test, Lord's
August 1-5 – Third Test, Old Trafford
August 9-13 – Fourth Test, Riverside Ground, Chester-le-Street
August 21-25 – Fifth Test, The Oval

THE ASHES IN AUSTRALIA 2013-2014
November 21-25 – First Test, The Gabba, Brisbane
December 5-9 – Second Test, Adelaide Oval
December 13-17 – Third Test, WACA, Perth
December 26-30 – Fourth Test, Melbourne Cricket Ground
January 3-7 – Fifth Test, Sydney Cricket Ground

He was initially left out of the touring party for India but returned to the fold after a much-discussed period of 'reintegration' and enjoyed a superb run of form with the bat.

But Flintoff, who called time on his own England career in 2009, believes Pietersen could be tempted to depart the scene again after back-to-back Ashes series at home and abroad.

'I wouldn't read too much into his not playing New Zealand, Kevin will be ready (for the Ashes),' he told Sky Sports News.

'There are 10 Tests against Australia in the next few months, I expect England to win and expect Kevin to be part of that.

'But
I would be quite interested to see if Kevin tries to play Test cricket
after that. We'll see what happens after that, if he is lured away to
play IPL and Twenty20 cricket around the world.

Old pals: Pietersen and Flintoff together for England during the winter 2008 tour of India

Old pals: Pietersen and Flintoff together for England during the winter 2008 tour of India

'I've got a sneaking suspicion he'll be looking at those 10 Tests and then consider his future.'

Pietersen took to Twitter on Wednesday to insist he would play internationally for another four years.

Responding to a question from another user asking: 'Do you think/want to play for England for a few more years', Pietersen replied: 'At least 4 years…'

I'm staying: Pietersen insisted he would play for England for another four years on Twitter yesterday

I'm staying: Pietersen insisted he would play for England for another four years on Twitter yesterday

Paul Ifill racially abused during A-League match

Former Millwall and Palace midfielder Ifill racially abused during A-League match in Adelaide

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UPDATED:

13:25 GMT, 16 December 2012

Ifill spent 11 years in England at Millwall, Sheffield United and Crystal Palace

Ifill spent 11 years in England at Millwall, Sheffield United and Crystal Palace

Former Millwall, Sheffield United and Crystal Palace midfielder Paul Ifill has accused fans of racially abusing him during an A-League match which took place on Sunday.

The 33-year-old, who currently plays for Wellington Phoenix, was allegedly called a derogatory racial term when he was substituted in the 61st minute of his side's 3-1 defeat at Adelaide United.

'Bad times poor result and racist abuse from a very small minority of fans,' Ifill tweeted after the game.

Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert would not discuss the allegations after the match.

'It's not for me to confirm or deny, its best to go through that process and talk to Adelaide,' he said.

'There are a few comments we've shared with club officials and I'm sure they will explain it.'

An Adelaide club spokesman said they are aware of the situation and will investigate the matter.

ifill tweet

ifill tweet

Ashes 2013-14: Australia announce five-test England series dates

Ashes to Ashes: Australia announce dates for 2013-14 series Down Under

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UPDATED:

07:33 GMT, 22 November 2012

England's second successive Ashes series next winter will begin in Brisbane on November 21.

Cricket Australia today released the dates for the five-Test portion of the 2013-14 tour, which also contains five one-day internationals and three Twenty20 matches and begins just weeks after Australia depart England.

England have three tour matches, the first of which is against a Western Australia XI in Perth beginning on October 31, before the first Test and a fourth in between the first and second Tests.

Ashes to Ashes: Australian chiefs have announced the dates for the 2013-14 series Down Under

Ashes to Ashes: Australian chiefs have announced the dates for the 2013-14 series Down Under

AUSTRALIA v ENGLAND
ASHES SERIES 2013-14

Brisbane, November 21-25, 2013: First Test
Adelaide, December 5-9: Second Test
Perth, December 13-17: Third Test
Melbourne, December 26-30: Fourth Test
Sydney, January 3-7, 2014: Fifth Test

Tour matches
Perth, October 31-November 2: WA XI v England
Hobart, November 6-9: Australia A v England
Sydney, November 13-16: NSW XI v England

Further Tests will take place at the Adelaide Oval, the WACA, the Melbourne Cricket Ground – the traditional Boxing Day game – and the Sydney Cricket Ground, finishing on January 7.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said: “We are delighted to be able to confirm the Ashes fixtures so far in advance of the Series. It means fans will be able to plan their trips around the country to follow all the action.

'I am sure there will be a lot of fans from the UK who will want to make the trip over and we look forward to hosting them here.'

England are facing the same opposition in back-to-back series – at home next summer and away in the winter – to prevent a quick turnaround between the Ashes and the World Cup, which takes place in Australia in early 2015.

The dates of the limited-overs fixtures have not yet been announced.

Water performance: England players celebrating their 2011 series victory in Australia with the famous sprinkler dance

Water performance: England players celebrating their 2011 series victory in Australia with the famous sprinkler dance

Ricky Ponting rules out country cricket return

Ponting snubs county cricket return despite Somerset interest

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UPDATED:

11:05 GMT, 23 March 2012

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has ruled out a move to county cricket this season.

The 37-year-old had been strongly linked with Somerset after director of cricket Brian Rose said earlier this week it was an option he would like to explore.

Ponting is set to be without first-class cricket for five months after the upcoming Test tour of West Indies, with reports suggesting he would use a county stint to press his Ashes claims for next year.

No thanks: Ricky Ponting (right) has ruled out a move to county cricket

No thanks: Ricky Ponting (right) has ruled out a move to county cricket

But Ponting has ended such speculation after revealing he wants to remain in Australia.

'It [county cricket] doesn't really fit into what I'm looking at doing,' Ponting said.

'I'm looking forward to having a bit more time pre-season with the Tasmanian Tigers this year back in Hobart and spending a bit of time with the family so county cricket is probably out of the question.'

Ponting is currently preparing to join Australia's tour of the West Indies for the three-Test series.

Ashes ambitions: Ricky Ponting

Ashes ambitions: Ricky Ponting

After skippering Tasmania to defeat in the Sheffield Shield final earlier this week, the Test tour will be his last first-class action until next the Australian summer schedule begins in October.

But he said he would prefer to spend that time with his family after reinvigorating his Test career during the Australian summer.

His place had come under intense scrutiny but after ending a two-year wait for a Test century against India he ended the Australian summer by making 221 in Adelaide to revive the possibility of one last Ashes tour next year.

'I've got to look at what my best preparation is, post the West Indies, and that will probably be to have a couple of months off,' he said.

'It's been a hard 12 months for me personally and around my cricket.

'With things not going as smoothly as I wanted at the start of the year, I had to train harder and work harder on my game and think more about my game than ever before.

'It's taken its toll a little bit, so I need to have a chance to refresh and recharge my batteries and get a solid pre-season under my belt before the Australian summer.'

London 2012 Olympics: Ian Thorpe impresses in trials

Thorpe shows signs of old form with impressive showing in Olympic trials

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UPDATED:

06:36 GMT, 16 March 2012

Ian Thorpe advanced to the Men's 200m freestyle semi-final through an impressive heat performance at Australia's National Swimming Championship in Adelaide, which also act as the Olympic trials.

Racing in the seventh of nine heats in the event, the 29-year-old was equal second to finish alongside David McKeon in a time of one minute 49.16 seconds, the pair behind Ryan Napoleon who finished with 1min 48.27secs.

Progress: Ian Thorpe showed signs of his previous form at the trials

Progress: Ian Thorpe showed signs of his previous form at the trials

Thorpe enjoyed a commanding lead heading into the final lap but appeared to slow down considerably as he was overtaken by a fast-finishing Napoleon in the final 25 metres.

'[I'm] very happy with this morning's swim,' Thorpe said on Channel 10 after the race. 'I was happy past the first 150 and to get through in a good position to the semi final.'

Comeback: Thorpe is aiming to make an Olympics return in London

Comeback: Thorpe is aiming to make an Olympics return in London

Thorpe, a five-time Olympic gold medallist, came out of retirement last year with the intention of swimming at London 2012.

Rahul Dravid will long be remembered as a great

India's brilliant Dravid will long be remembered as a great of the game

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UPDATED:

09:38 GMT, 9 March 2012

From the very beginning of his wonderful Test career, when he made 95 on his debut at Lord's, to his last stand at the Adelaide Oval, he barely put a foot wrong.

At and away from the batting crease, Dravid's instinct and judgment rarely wavered from a paragon of virtue.

He finishes a 164-Test career with a body of work which amply proves his standing as a modern great.

Great of the game: Rahul Dravid in action for India against England at The Oval last summer

Great of the game: Rahul Dravid in action for India against England at The Oval last summer

In cricket, more than most sports, there is an inescapable bottom line.
Bare statistics quickly confound the dreamers and wannabes.

Dravid, of course, is neither – and his 13,288 runs at more than 52 from each attempt mean, even accounting for an ever-changing game, his achievements bear comparison with the all-time best.

That goes even for his peerless India contemporary Sachin Tendulkar, out on his own perhaps in any era yet not by all that much from Dravid.

It is a measure of the standards set and maintained by 'The Wall' that he never buckled through a 16-year international career in which his team-mate Tendulkar was accorded so many of the accolades.

In the shadow of the 'Little Master' maybe, yet Dravid simply kept delivering his winning mix of serenity and reliability.

Shunted up and down the order, in front and behind the stumps, the runs and catches – as wicketkeeper and slip – just kept mounting up.

Dravid was not merely the metronomic, methodical accumulator either.
If his prosaic nickname was a fair illustration of renowned tenacity and consistency, 'The Wall' never did any justice to Dravid's batsmanship or his demeanour on and off the pitch.

Rahul Dravid

Rahul Dravid

Write caption here

He could be workmanlike, of course, when occasion dictated that his famed determination and concentration were prerequisites. But there was always something for the casuals in a cricket crowd, as well as the purists, when Dravid's technical precision blossomed into assured attack.

His ever-presence gave licence to other talents such as Virender Sehwag and VVS Laxman. But there was no shortage of days to remember for Dravid himself too – with Laxman in the amazing Eden Gardens turnaround against Australia in 2001, for example, or in England last summer when his three hundreds of the highest class were inevitably bitter-sweet while all around him were struggling so badly on the way to 4-0 defeat.

Dravid's stature is built on more than any of that, though. He and Tendulkar have been the cool and calm India have needed in their era of unprecedented success, not just in a world-record 19 century partnerships together but in their dignity to contrast a country which often goes to extremes.

Last summer encapsulated so much of what Dravid has brought to Indian and world cricket. At Trent Bridge, aside from a first-innings hundred in adversity which once more encapsulated his worth as a batsman, Dravid's reported role in the diplomatic restoration of relations with the opposition after Ian Bell's 'run-out' was as unsurprising as it was admirable.

Back in the day: Dravid batting for the Indians against Sri Lanka in 1997

Back in the day: Dravid batting for the Indians against Sri Lanka in 1997

Chaos and mistrust reigned after centurion Bell was given out as he wandered off for his tea, unaware that the last ball of the afternoon session had not gone for four but been ferried back from the boundary edge.

It is not a matter of record that Dravid, already off the field at the time resting a minor injury, was the driving force behind recalling Bell after a series of fractious teatime exchanges – and certainly he did not claim to be in his close-of-play press conference.

But if he were it would be entirely in keeping with the revered reputation of a man who has served his country and his sport so conspicuously well, and who cricket will be wise to retain as the safest of ambassadors now that Dravid's exemplary playing days are done.

Australia close to 4-0 series win over India

India facing another series whitewash as Australian attack decimates top order

Australia continued to march towards a 4-0 series whitewash of India on day four of the fourth Test at Adelaide Oval as the tourists closed on 166 for six.

Set a record fourth-innings run chase of 500 to conjure a miracle victory, India are still 333 runs in arrears with just four wickets in hand after established pair VVS Laxman and Virat Kohli fell in the final 10 minutes.

Laxman was dropped by Ricky Ponting at a wide second slip on 25 when he played a loose drive against Ryan Harris, but his watchful vigil ended on 35 after he whipped a short Nathan Lyon offering right off the meat of the bat to Shaun Marsh, who snapped up a very sharp chance at short mid-wicket.

Skittled: Sachin Tendulkar and the rest of his India team-mates are facing up to a second series whitewash

Skittled: Sachin Tendulkar and the rest of his India team-mates are facing up to a second series whitewash

FULL SCORECARD

Click here to see a breakdown of the score

Then from the final ball of the day's penultimate over, first-innings centurion Kohli (22) was brilliantly run out by his day three sparring partner Ben Hilfenhaus, whose off-balance shy at the non-striker's end from mid-wicket was a direct hit with a diving Kohli short of his ground after he scurried desperately for a single to keep the strike.

Lyon (three for 57), who sent India's acting captain Virender Sehwag (62) on his way shortly before tea with a rank full toss, was the man who broke India's hearts when he got rid of Sachin Tendulkar with a nice looping ball which the “Little Master” prodded forward defensively against.

The ball deflected from Tendulkar's glove onto his pad and bobbed up for a sitter to Ed Cowan at short leg, his departure for 13 meaning the wait for Tendulkar's 100th international century goes on.

Tendulkar was surprisingly passive and tentative against Lyon throughout his short innings and paid the ultimate price before trudging off to a standing ovation from the appreciative Adelaide crowd.

Howzat: Peter Siddle impressed with the ball

Howzat: Peter Siddle impressed with the ball

It also left Tendulkar without a ton for the series, the first time in five Test tours of Australia over two decades that he has failed to score a century.

Nightwatchman Ishant Sharma came out in the third-last over of the evening and was immediately greeted by an ultra-attacking field, with every fielder in catching positions around the bat as Lyon bowled with his tail up.

Kohli's endeavours to protect Sharma brought about the downfall of the exciting India number six.

With victory long out of the question, India's faint hopes to even escape with a draw rested with Laxman and Kohli, but a crazy final 10 minutes put an end to such dreams.

Indian legends Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, with almost 29,000 runs and 87 tons between them from a combined 352 Tests, were initially armed with that responsibility but their watchful union ended when out-of-touch Dravid (25) thick-edged a widish Ryan Harris ball to Mike Hussey at gully.

Tendulkar fell three overs later as Lyon bowled his best spell of the series, trundling in for 13 overs unchanged from the River End.

Piling them on: Michael Clarke did his bit with the bat earlier in the day

Piling them on: Michael Clarke did his bit with the bat earlier in the day

Before lunch, India lost openers Gautam Gambhir (three) and Sehwag (62) to be 92 for two at tea.

Sehwag's blazing knock included a mix of the sublime and the ridiculous, but it was never boring.

His 50 arrived off just 36 balls and included 11 boundaries – or 88% of his total score – and he had scored more than 80% of India's runs by that point.

But he threw his wicket away recklessly on 62 when he danced down the pitch to Lyon, who induced a leading edge as Sehwag tried to smash the ball into the car park.

Closing in: Australia are on the brink of securing a 4-0 series win

Closing in: Australia are on the brink of securing a 4-0 series win

The shot ended Sehwag's exciting 53-ball knock, which included 12 fours – all scored on the off-side – as Ponting comfortably claimed the skied ball at short cover.

Sehwag had been looming as the danger-man to Michael Clarke's side after the Aussie skipper declared the home side's innings at 167 for five with Ponting again top-scoring, unbeaten on 60.

Clarke made 37, concluding a golden series with the bat in which he amassed 626 runs at 125.20 with a strike rate of 69.86, while Ponting's series yielded 544 runs at 108.80.

Cricket: Peter Siddle keeps Australia in total control against India

Kohli makes ton but Siddle takes five wickets to keep Australia in total control of Adelaide Test against India

Australia captain Michael Clarke decided against enforcing the follow-on after Peter Siddle inspired his team to take total command of the fourth Test against India at the Adelaide Oval, despite a fine maiden century from Virat Kohli.

The home side took a 332-run first-innings lead after Siddle led the way with five for 49, overshadowing Kohli's 116 in India's 272 all out.

Australia slumped to 50 for three by the close of play but will nevertheless begin day four with victory looking all but assured.

Delight: Peter Siddle celebrates taking the wicket of Sachin Tendulkar

Delight: Peter Siddle celebrates taking the wicket of Sachin Tendulkar

After resuming at 61 for two, with Gautam Gambhir and Sachin Tendulkar at the crease, the tourists staggered towards lunch at the end of an opening session which belonged overwhelmingly to the Australians despite the batsman-friendly conditions.

AUSTRALIA v INDIA

Click here for the latest scorecard from Adelaide Test

The rot set in early as Tendulkar again failed to convert a promising start into a landmark and long-awaited 100th international hundred when he was sent packing for 25.

Siddle, with the second ball of his second over of the morning, landed a nice leg-cutter which drew Tendulkar forward and with a slightly open face, the 'Little Master' pushed a low catch to Ricky Ponting diving forward at second slip.

Two overs later, Siddle got rid of Gambhir (34) with a superb lifting bouncer which caught the shoulder of the hopping, fending opener's bat, lobbing to gully where Mike Hussey scurried in and snared a fine, full-length diving catch.

From 87 for four, the Indians slipped to 111 for five when VVS Laxman nicked Nathan Lyon to Brad Haddin behind the stumps, the veteran gone for 18.

India staged a recovery after lunch but on the stroke of tea lost Wriddhiman Saha for a well compiled 35 to be reduced to 225 for six.
The tourists lost four more wickets in the final session and never looked like competing with Australia's huge first-innings tally of 604 for seven declared.

Siddle brought the match alive shortly after tea when he almost snared his second Test hat-trick, first trapping a shuffling R Ashwin in front for five.
The very next ball, incoming batsman Zaheer Khan showed little regard for the match situation or partner Kohli's pending milestone when he swung wildly and edged to Haddin for a golden duck.

Ton up: Virat Kohli of India celebrates his century at the Adelaide Oval

Ton up: Virat Kohli of India celebrates his century at the Adelaide Oval

Ishant Sharma blocked out the hat-trick ball before Siddle took his position at fine leg in front of the faithful on the Adelaide Oval hill, who afforded him rapturous roars of approval.

Kohli had survived a big lbw shout off Ryan Harris on 91, replays showing the angle of the ball would have taken it just past leg. And on 99 he flashed at a couple of testing Siddle offerings outside off stump before almost being run out seeking the momentous single off the last ball of the over. He had to turn back quickly and dive back in his crease, but a direct hit would have sealed his fate.

Kohli finally brought up his ton with a push for two through the covers, the 23-year-old celebrating with a mid-pitch leap and a kiss of the helmet.

Sharma (16) provided steady support before Ben Hilfenhaus knocked over his off stump and Kohli was the last man out after he missed a Hilfenhaus full toss to be trapped lbw for a marvellous lone hand of 116 off 213 balls.

David Warner and Ed Cowan put on 39 for Australia's first wicket before three batsmen fell for the addition of one run, starting when Warner (28) slapped a low return catch to Ashwin.

Shaun Marsh's struggles continued with a duck, though he was unlucky to be adjudged lbw after being struck outside off stump by Junaid Khan, and Cowan was then pinned plumb in front by Ashwin.

Clarke and Ricky Ponting, both double-centurions in the first innings, will resume in the morning with Clarke having contributed nine to their stand of 10.

Ricky Ponting passes 13,000 runs

Ponting passes 13,000 runs as Aussies take charge against India in Adelaide

Ricky Ponting became the third man in history to accumulate 13,000 Test runs as Australia charged into a commanding position at stumps on day one of the fourth Test against India at the Adelaide Oval.

Captain Michael Clarke (140no) and his predecessor Ponting (137no) came together with the score at 84 for three shortly before lunch and went on to share a record-breaking unbeaten 252-run stand for the fourth-wicket to guide Australia to 335 for three at the close of play in scorching conditions.

It was the duo's second double-hundred stand of the series after their 288-run union during the second Test in Sydney when Clarke notched a memorable triple ton.

Landmark: Ricky Ponting has now accumulated 13,000 Test runs

Landmark: Ricky Ponting has now accumulated 13,000 Test runs

Ponting – who joins Indian pair Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid on his latest landmark – powered to his 41st Test century after coming in with his side in a spot of bother at 31 for two after 10 overs.

The crowd rose to its feet when Ponting worked Zaheer Khan behind square for a couple but the faithful were quickly subdued when the signal for leg byes was realised, the ball clearly deflecting off the batsman's thigh pad.

The very next ball Ponting received a standing ovation and raised his arms triumphantly after he pushed Zaheer between point and gully for two to bring up his second hundred of the series, this dig far more fluent than his determined, gutsy knock at the SCG.

Crowd-pleaser: Ponting

Crowd pleaser: Ponting

With the ton – which arrived off 164 balls and included 11 boundaries – Ponting drew level with South African compatriot Jacques Kallis in second place for all-time most Test centuries, behind only India's Sachin Tendulkar (51).

Amazingly, it was Ponting's fourth
ton in as many Tests against India at the ground – all coming in the
first innings – and sixth overall at this ground.

Clarke
has enjoyed a similar success rate, his magnificent ton his second in
as many stints at the Adelaide crease against India.

Four overs after Ponting saluted, Clarke caressed Umesh Yadav to the third man boundary to register his 19th Test ton.

He
removed his helmet and kissed the crest as the crowd rose once more to
celebrate an innings that was even more aggressive and impressive than
Ponting's.

It was Clarke's fifth century in 12 Tests since taking over as skipper and fifth overall against India.

The 30-year-old's wonderful, momentum-shifting century came off just 133 balls and including 14 fours and a big six.

That six came on just the second ball
after tea when Clarke, making his intentions clear, charged India's
acting skipper Virender Sehwag – who surprisingly bowled himself
immediately after the break – and thumped him over the long straight
boundary.

Ponting and
the imperious Clarke were rarely troubled in perfect batting conditions
under hot, sunny skies against a listless Indian outfit.

Leading by example: Skipper Michael Clarke celebrates by kissing his helmet

Leading by example: Skipper Michael Clarke celebrates by kissing his helmet

The
pitch, which was a belter and further flattened throughout the day, did
not assist the tourists' cause, but they didn't help themselves either
with a general lack of energy and intensity, inattentive fielding,
defensive field placings and some pedestrian bowling.

Ishant
Sharma (nought for 50) bowled better than his figures suggested. He was
unlucky at times and asked plenty of probing questions of the in-form
pair, bowling some of his best spells of the summer.

The
paceman almost achieved the belated breakthrough in the 86th over when,
with the second new ball, he captured Clarke's outside edge which flew
to VVS Laxman's right, the veteran grassing a very tough chance.

The
next over Clarke tentatively edged Zaheer just short of a diving
Wriddhiman Saha as his concentration wavered, albeit fleetingly.

The only other time the visitors really perked up was the final over before tea.

Sehwag introduced Virat Kohli for a one-off over to bowl some gentle medium pacers in a hope to break the damaging partnership.

Dream team: Ponting (left) and Clarke

Dream team: Ponting (left) and Clarke

Clarke was untroubled seeing off the part-timer before drama unfolded on the penultimate ball of the middle session.

Clarke turned Kohli to the on-side for a sharp single when Zaheer had a shy at the non-striker's end from square leg.

The ball ricocheted off the sliding bat of the Aussie skipper, who infuriated the Indians by running two more as a result of the deflection.

India
appealed for Clarke to be given out obstructing the field, arguing he
had deliberately deviated in an attempt to divert Zaheer's throw but
after umpires Kumar Dharmasena and Aleem Dar conferred with third umpire
Paul Reiffel, Clarke was rightly allowed to bat on.

Take that: Clarke prepares to smash one

Take that: Clarke prepares to smash one

Earlier, Australia lost two wickets inside the first 10 overs before
losing another one shortly before lunch to momentarily give India the
upper hand after Clarke had won the toss and elected to bat in hot, dry
conditions.

David
Warner (eight) and Shaun Marsh (three) were sent packing early as Sehwag
surprised by introducing off-spinner Ashwin in the fourth over of the
innings.

Ed Cowan made
30 before falling to an excellent catch from Laxman at cover which
created some murmurs in the home camp as Ashwin picked up two wickets
before lunch, but Ponting and Clarke destroyed the wilting Indians and
will look to continue the carnage on Wednesday.

Australian Open 2012: Novak Djokovic beats Lleyton Hewitt to reach quarter finals

Brave Hewitt no match for Djokovic as defending champion books last eight place

Lleyton Hewitt rolled back the years tonight to deliver a typically gutsy display but it was not enough to derail Novak Djokovic's title defence at the Australian Open.

Hewitt looked down and out at two sets and 3-0 down but he stormed back to take the contest to a fourth set in which the world number one showed battling qualities of his own to edge through 6-1, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in nearly three hours.

For so long, it was one-way traffic with Hewitt looking flat and tired after his exertions against Andy Roddick and Milos Raonic in the previous rounds.

Well played: Lleyton Hewitt congratulates defending champion Novak Djokovic after the Serb booked his place in the last eight

Well played: Lleyton Hewitt congratulates defending champion Novak Djokovic after the Serb booked his place in the last eight

And Djokovic took full advantage, three breaks handing him the first set and three more moving him two sets up.

And when he won the first three games of the third, it seemed just a matter of time before victory was secured.

But, from nowhere, Hewitt found some
form and, all of a sudden, Djokovic looked rattled. The 30-year-old from
Adelaide, twice a grand slam champion, dragged it back to 3-3, broke
again for a 5-4 lead and then served it out.

Drop it like it's hot: World No 1 Djokovic swoops across court to return to Hewitt

Drop it like it's hot: World No 1 Djokovic swoops across court to return to Hewitt

And when Djokovic faced another break
point in the third game of the fourth set, the comeback looked set to
continue. But the Serbian held his nerve to win the game and with that
he regained the momentum.

He claimed the Hewitt serve to go 4-2 up and it proved a lead he would not relinquish.

'I have to give credit to my opponent who never gives up,' said Djokovic.

Fight back: Home favourite Hewitt manged to take the third set off of Djokovic

Fight back: Home favourite Hewitt manged to take the third set off of Djokovic

Alex Kay Talks Tennis

'He's a great competitor and he kept
on making me play an extra shot. I made a couple of unforced errors and
he got back into the match. I have a lot of respect for him.

'For two sets and 3-0 I was playing
really well and then I stopped moving but credit to him, he wasn't
making any unforced errors.'

Thumbs up: Djokovic will play Spaniard David Ferrer in the quarter-final

Thumbs up: Djokovic will play Spaniard David Ferrer in the quarter-final

Next for Djokovic is a meeting with fifth seed David Ferrer in the last eight.

The Spaniard was an impressive winner, beating the dangerous Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-4, 6-1.

The other quarter-final in the top half will be between Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori after both men progressed.