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Sachin Tendulkar"s wait for his next Test hundred goes on: Top Spin at the Test

Top Spin at the Test: The wait goes on as Tendulkar's ton proves elusive

PUBLISHED:

22:56 GMT, 5 December 2012

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UPDATED:

22:56 GMT, 5 December 2012

Sachin Tendulkar’s highest Test innings since he made 80 at Sydney in January could not disguise the fact that his last 29 visits to the crease have failed to produce a Test hundred. That is comfortably the longest century-less drought of his career, stretching all the way back to his 146 in Cape Town in January 2011. The sense of disappointment yesterday at Eden Gardens when he edged Jimmy Anderson to Matt Prior was almost tangible.

Disappointment: Sachin Tendulkar missed out on a century

Disappointment: Sachin Tendulkar missed out on a century

Sachin eclipses sunny record
For all his frustration, Tendulkar did tick off yet another milestone. When he clipped Monty Panesar for a single shortly after lunch, he completed 34,000 runs in all international cricket. He won’t be caught any time soon: next in the list is former Australia captain Ricky Ponting, who retired on Monday with 27,483 runs to his name. Tendulkar also became India’s leading Test run-scorer against England, passing Sunil Gavaskar, who hit 2,483.

Bogie man: Hansie Cronje took Tendulkar's wicket five times in his career

Bogie man: Hansie Cronje took Tendulkar's wicket five times in his career

Cronje chips in on Tendulkar's list
The eight bowlers to have dismissed Tendulkar five times or more in Tests include some of the modern fast-bowling greats: Anderson (eight times), Glenn McGrath (six), Jason Gillespie, Brett Lee and Allan Donald (all five). But one name stands out on the list: the late South Africa captain Hansie Cronje also took Tendulkar’s wicket in Tests on five occasions with his gentle medium-pace — a stat made all the more remarkable by the fact that Cronje managed only 43 wickets in his 68 Tests.

Sharp Samit proves his point
Samit Patel has often incurred the wrath of team director Andy Flower for his lack of sharpness in the field, but his hard work on the boundary led to the run-out that changed England’s day. Virender Sehwag had his eye on a third after working Anderson through midwicket, but Patel chased down the stroke and then flicked the ball up to Steven Finn, who hurled it to Matt Prior at the striker’s end with Sehwag stranded mid-pitch.

On his toes: Samit Patel's alert fielding led to a run-out

On his toes: Samit Patel's alert fielding led to a run-out

Gambhir changes his tune
When Gautam Gambhir was asked how disappointed Tendulkar would be to miss out on a hundred, he replied: ‘It’s not about hundreds or individuals. It’s about what the team does together.’ This hymn to team spirit raised eyebrows among those who recall him exposing the India tail on the fourth morning in Mumbai, where cynics wondered whether he was more concerned with carrying his bat than actually saving a game India went on to lose by 10 wickets.

Ricky Ponting scores just four runs in farewell match in Australia v South Africa

Ponting falls for just four runs as Australia collapse against South Africa in his farewell Test match

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UPDATED:

10:47 GMT, 1 December 2012

A final session rich with runs put South
Africa in complete control on the second day of their third and
deciding Test with Australia in Perth, with the retiring Ricky Ponting among the home side's failures.

With both sides having been dismissed cheaply first up, the Proteas headed back to the crease just before tea with a lead of 62. Come stumps their card read 230 for two, an overall advantage of 292.

They helped themselves to 206 runs in the final session, with Hashim Amla walking off unbeaten on 99 while Graeme Smith (84) was only stopped on his way to a century by a brilliant catch from Nathan Lyon.

On his way out: Ricky Ponting heads to the crease at WACA on Saturday

On his way out: Ricky Ponting heads to the crease at WACA on Saturday

And on his way OUT: Ponting walks away after being dismissed by South Africa's Vernon Philander

And on his way OUT: Ponting walks away after being dismissed by South Africa's Vernon Philander

The same player would drop Jacques
Kallis shortly after, though, although with a lead of close to 300
already and with plenty of time on their side, South Africa would have
no doubt remained in command regardless.

Their riotous session overshadowed
the grand farewell of Australian batsman Ponting, although the retiring
Tasmanian will probably be glad of that.

He contributed just four to a
first-innings total of 163 all out which left South Africa in credit
before they even started their second innings.

It was their rousing bowling
performance that gave them the platform, on a morning when fans had
flocked to the WACA in anticipation of one last masterclass from the
departing Ponting, but instead it was the Proteas attack who grabbed the
limelight as they took eight wickets for 130.

Australia, who need to win to return
to top spot in the ICC rankings, would have been in more trouble had
wicketkeeper Matthew Wade not made a fluent 68.

The hosts resumed on 33 for two in
the morning session but David Warner fell to the first ball of the
second over, aiming a swipe at Dale Steyn's loosener to feed AB de
Villiers a catch.

Got him! Philander celebrates dismissing Ponting for lbw on day two of the third Test

[caption

That brought Ponting to the crease to
a rousing ovation and the clapping had scarcely abated when he scooped
his first ball just short of mid-wicket.

A nervy single got him going but
nightwatchman Lyon was gone inside the same over, Steyn and Faf Du
Plessis combining for the wicket.

Vernon Philander then played the role
of party pooper, Ponting tucking bat behind pad before being struck on
the knee-roll after some late inswing.

Asad Rauf raised the finger and Ponting's unsuccessful use of DRS screamed of hope rather than judgement.

Australia were desperate to take the
sting out of the situation but instead things went from bad to worse as
in-form skipper Michael Clarke (five) was undone by another brute of a
ball from Steyn.

That left Clarke's side reeling at 45 for six and Wade decided to launch the counter-attack.
He hooked Philander for six and then nicked him through an empty third
slip for four and from there was looking to score from most balls.

A second six followed off Robin Peterson and he found the boundary again with a couple of cross-bat shots.

Final farewell: Ponting runs out in Perth

Final farewell: Ponting runs out in Perth

Final farewell: Ponting runs out in Perth as Australia bid to stay in touch with South Africa

Michael Hussey made 12 in 40 balls
before edging Morne Morkel to Graeme Smith at slip, but Wade continued
unabashed, bringing up his half-century with a third maximum off
Peterson.

Wade went into his shell somewhat after lunch and was eventually bowled by the left-arm spin of Peterson for 68.

That exposed the tail but John Hastings struck three fours in a row off Peterson to offer hope.
Peterson had more luck against Mitchell Johnson, who he bowled for
seven, and Hastings was last out for 32 when Alviro Petersen took a
smart catch in two movements at long-off.

Some streaky hitting from Petersen
took South Africa to 24 without loss at tea but, after he went to
Johnson, caught and bowled off a riser, the tourists took a firm grip on
proceedings.

Smith brought up his 50 off 67 balls –
Amla outpaced him and did it in 37 – although the hosts thought they
had snared Smith when Starc pinned him and was given out, although his
review proved a correct one as replays showed the ball was going over
the top.

Smith would eventually perish with
the partnership on 178, hooking Starc into the hands of Lyon who did
brilliantly to dive forward running in from the boundary, although he
was unable to cling on when

Kallis did something similar on
three. That was the last real action of the day, with Amla ending one
run shy of an 18th Test century and Kallis on 17.

Windies batsman Chanderpaul becomes only the 10th member of 10,000 club

Windies batsman Chanderpaul becomes only the 10th member of 10,000 club

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UPDATED:

22:09 GMT, 26 April 2012

Shivnarine Chanderpaul became just
the 10th player to score 10,000 Test runs, but his departure in the
final over of the day saw the initiative swing firmly back to Australia
on the fourth day of the third and final Test against West Indies in
Dominica.

Chanderpaul reached the milestone
with a single off Michael Clarke in his 140th Test as the 37-year-old
became only the second West Indian player to pass the landmark,
following Brian Lara who ended his career with 11,953.

Milestone: West Indies batsman Shivarine Chanderpaul celebrates his 10,000th Test run

Milestone: West Indies batsman Shivarine Chanderpaul celebrates his 10,000th Test run

However, it was the Australia captain who removed the West Indian with the first ball of the last over to leave the tourists firmly in control.

After wobbling on 45 for three, Chanderpaul and Darren Bravo put on 110 before the latter was out for 45.

It was then a huge blow for the hosts to lose Chanderpaul for 69 as they finished the day on 173 for five, needing 197 more for victory with five wickets remaining.

Earlier, local boy Shane Shillingford
took two wickets in the morning to end with four for 100 in the second
innings, and 10 for 219 overall, as Australia were all out for 259.

Ricky Ponting and Ed Cowan's half-centuries were the highest
contributions to an unimpressive total, but it still meant the hosts
were in pursuit of a testing score.

West Indies' Shivnarine Chanderpaul

Hitting out: Chanderpaul on his way to 69

Resuming on 200 for six, a lead of 310, this morning, Australia added a
further 20 before Michael Hussey (32) became Shillingford's first victim
of the day, and ninth overall, when he was caught by Darren Sammy.

Ryan Harris (nine) and Ben Hilfenhaus (six) were next to fall, the
latter becoming Shillingford's 10th wicket to leave the tourists on 237.

Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon resisted somewhat and put on 22 between
them before the former was bowled for 21 by Kemar Roach to end the
Australia innings.

That saw West Indies set a target of 370 for victory, but they made a woeful start, losing Adrian Barath for an 11-ball duck.

It was a stunning catch by Cowan, who dived to his right despite a well-timed flick by the batsman.

The hosts' task became harder when Australia removed Kraigg Braithwaite
for 14 with the score on 28. Clarke brought himself on to bowl and had
the batsman lbw after a late pull.

Kieran Powell made 24 before being straight bowled by Clarke and any West Indies run chase was looking unlikely.

Early strike: Australia celebrate dismissal of Adrian Barath

Early strike: Australia celebrate dismissal of Adrian Barath

However, any gloom was brightened as Chanderpaul reached his milestone
with a tuck through mid-wicket and, although his own acknowledgement was
muted, everyone in the ground rose to applaud.

Chanderpaul moved on to his 50 – which came off 90 balls – with a
boundary off Harris and the hosts will have been hoping to reach the
close of play without further loss.

However, that was dashed when Bravo was removed, Matthew Wade getting
down well for a catch after the batsman got an edge to a Shane Watson
delivery.

His 45 came off 148 balls and included five boundaries and the hosts
suffered another blow soon after when Chanderpaul departed from the
first ball of the final over from Clarke, who finished with three for
34.

His 69 came off 122 balls and included six fours, but the pendulum had swung firmly back in Australia's favour.

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.'

Ricky Ponting to continue playing Test cricket

Ponting plans to prolong Test career after accepting one-day fate


End of the road: Ricky Ponting

End of the road: Ricky Ponting

Ricky Ponting does not expect to play international one-day cricket again after he was dropped from the Australian team on Monday but will continue to be available for test matches.

The 37-year-old is the second most prolific batsman of all time in limited overs internationals, scoring 13,704 runs in 375 matches since his debut in 1995.

The Tasmanian was dropped from the Australia team because of poor form with selectors strongly indicating that his career in one-day internationals was all but over.

Ponting, who had made just 18 runs in five games in the ongoing Tri-series against India and Sri Lanka, said he had spoken to chairman of selectors John Inverarity who told him he was not in the plans leading up to the 2015 World Cup.

'I have been dropped, which is disappointing but I accept that. My performances over the last five games haven't warranted me being there,' Ponting told a media conference.

'John has been pretty clear on the reasons why and the direction they are heading with the one-day team and I am not part of their plans.

'It's a bit hard to say I've retired given I've been dropped but I don't expect to play one-day international cricket any more and I'm sure the selectors don't expect to pick me either.'

Future: Ponting still hopes to continue to play Test cricket for Australia

Future: Ponting still hopes to continue to play Test cricket for Australia

Ponting said he wanted to continue playing test matches.

'I've only got test cricket left now and I want to make every post a winner,' he added.

'I think I've proved this summer that I can still play great cricket for Australia and deserve to be out there.'

Ricky Ponting captains Australia to Sri Lanka defeat

Captain Ponting back with a whimper as Australia are thrashed by Sri Lanka

Ricky Ponting's return to the Australia captaincy ended in a crushing eight-wicket defeat to Sri Lanka following a rain-affected one-day international in Sydney.

Sri Lanka secured their first win of the Commonwealth Bank Series in emphatic style as they first bowled Australia out for 158 before making light work of a revised chase.

Ponting's opposite number Mahela Jayawardene led the way with 61, from 66 balls, while Kumar Sangakkara became the third Sri Lankan to post 10,000 ODI runs as Sri Lanka got home with a massive 101 balls to spare.

Dejected: Ricky Ponting's Australia suffered a crushing defeat to Sri Lanka

Dejected: Ricky Ponting's Australia suffered a crushing defeat to Sri Lanka

It meant defeat for Ponting who, in the absence of the injured Michael Clarke, took over the captaincy for the first time since standing down after last year's World Cup.

The veteran endured a miserable day, adding just two to a poor series with the bat so far, although he looks set to get a chance at redemption against India on Sunday with Clarke revealing he is still struggling with a hamstring problem.

'I've got a little hamstring strain. It's on the mend. It's probably unlikely I'll be picked for Brisbane, though,' he told Channel Nine.

'I've done a lot of work over the last couple of days and team physio Alex Kountouris would prefer me to rest but I'm not far away at all.'

To further sour Australia's mood it was confirmed upcoming all-rounder Mitch Marsh looks set for a lengthy period on the sidelines after complaining of back pain in the SCG nets.

Sri Lanka were unconcerned by their hosts' travails, though, as they produced a bonus-point success to revive their bid to reach the final of the triangular tournament.

Triumph: Sri Lanka celebrate on their way to victory over Australia

Triumph: Sri Lanka celebrate on their way to victory over Australia

After sharing the wickets in an impressive display in the field, bowling out Australia for 158 with one ball left in a revised 41-over game, their batsmen opted for aggression.

The target was revised to 152 under the Duckworth-Lewis method and was always in hand when Jayawardene and former skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan crashed 74 inside the first 12 overs.

Dilshan thrashed 45 from 41 balls before he was caught at slip off Clint McKay, but Jayawardene made sure he guided his side home with a composed half-century.

Along the way Sangakkara (30) joined him in reaching 10,000 ODI runs, although the left-hander holed out off Brett Lee with just 20 needed.

Soon afterwards Jayawardene reached his 50, off 58 balls, before seeing out the win.
Earlier, Australia relied on David Hussey's battling 58 to give them any hope of victory.

Good game: Sri Lanka's Mahela Jayawardene outshone his counterpart

Good game: Sri Lanka's Mahela Jayawardene outshone his counterpart

Ponting's decision to bat first was immediately undermined as his side crashed to 88 for six before the rain break reduced the match to 41 overs.

Lasith Malinga made the initial breakthrough when he continued David Warner's run of low scores, the opener spooning a simple catch to Farveez Maharoof for 13.

Maharoof was in the thick of the action, claiming the wickets of Ponting, who he outfoxed with a slower ball he could only pat back, and Peter Forrest.

Forrest's stay was blighted also by a terrible mix-up which saw Matthew Wade run out while Mike Hussey edged behind off Angelo Mathews a ball after launching him for six.

Dan Christian was caught lbw by Perera just before the rain delay while Clint McKay and Brett Lee fell quickly after the restart.

Sri Lanka's only blip in the field was in dropping David Hussey twice, Malinga and Mathews the culprits, and while he embarked on a recovery mission of sorts, with 58 from 64 balls, it was not enough.

Michael Clarke says Ashes defeat forced new era of Australian cricket

Clarke claims Ashes mauling forced new era of Australian cricket

The pain of last winter's Ashes mauling by England is helping to usher in a new era for Australian cricket, according to Test captain Michael Clarke.

The Baggy Green wrapped up a 4-0 series win over India on Saturday, just a year on from their humiliating 3-1 defeat to England on home soil.

A lot of changes have occurred since then, with a new coach, selection team and captain in place, with Clarke replacing Ricky Ponting at the helm.

Award: Michael Clarke was the outstanding player

Award: Michael Clarke was the outstanding player

The statistics from this series would suggest the alterations have been positive too, with Clarke, who scored 626 runs in the series, spearheading a new dawn.

Quick bowlers James Pattinson, Ben Hilfenhaus and Peter Siddle have formed a fearsome unit – although Pattinson has been injured for some of this series – and David Warner has finally emerged as the dashing opener many expected him to be.

A rejuvenated Ponting has also rediscovered his touch after a barren two years, hitting a century and a double century in his last two Tests.

And Clarke is in no doubt as to what started the upturn in fortunes.

'I think it (the Ashes) has played a part,' Clarke said.

New wave: Peter Siddle (right) has been superb

New wave: Peter Siddle (right) has been superb

'It certainly has for me personally. I think individual players who were a part of last summer remember it.

'We said and knew we had to do a lot of work to improve our games, both personally and as a team.

'It's obviously a very special feeling to sit here beating India 4-0, knowing that last summer I couldn't buy a run. It's a great feeling.

'I hate to say it but throughout your career you need to go through the tough times individually and as a team to realise how hard Test cricket is and how special it is when you have days like today and a series like this.'

Other chastening losses have occurred since, such as being railroaded for 47 by South Africa after holding a 188-run lead, and then surrendering to New Zealand having bowled them out for 150.

'The loss in South Africa and the loss against New Zealand is something that every player in that change room has had in the front of their mind,' Clarke added.

'That's probably been a bit of an inspiration to make sure when we feel like things are going well, to keep pushing forward; to make the most of the momentum that we've been able to have.

'Consistency is an area we've had to work on as a team.

Finish: Australian celebrate after Umesh Yadav (right) loses his wicket and India lose the series

Finish: Australian celebrate after Umesh Yadav (right) loses his wicket and India lose the series

'To be able to keep backing up throughout this series and win all four Test matches shows we're improving in that area.'

While Australia are celebrating a return to form, India are left to pick up the pieces of another humiliating whitewash.

Also Beaten 4-0 in England last summer, Duncan Fletcher`s side have fallen some way since they were ranked as the world`s best Test side.

But veteran batsman Virender Sehwag does not feel any of their senior players, such as himself, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman, should be thinking about stepping down.

'I don't think there is a need for retirement of any player in this team,' Sehwag said.

'They will take their call when they're needed and when they think their time is up.'

The team's media spokesman also expressed his anger at reports emerging down under that Dravid had already decided to end his career.

Belief: Virender Sehwag (left) believes colleagues like Rahul Dravid (right) should not retire

Belief: Virender Sehwag (left) believes colleagues like Rahul Dravid (right) should not retire

'The team takes note of the stories in the media suggesting the imminent retirement of a member of the India team,' said GS Walia, reading from a prepared statement.

'We would like to clarify that situation by stating categorically that these are not correct and are baseless.'

Dravid averaged marginally over 24 throughout the tour, but was not alone in struggling to deal with Australia`s new-look attack.

'We have to look at ourselves and what went wrong and then make the calls,' Sehwag added.

'There are experienced players in our team, they are well aware of that and they are working on that, one bad series doesn't make any difference for them.

'They are working hard on their batting skills and they'll find a way.'

Sehwag did not offer a ringing endorsement of former England coach Fletcher, though, for whom this was a second career whitewash in Australia.

When asked what the Zimbabwean had brought to the side, he said: 'It's difficult to tell you. I will not comment on that.'

Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke hit double centuries

Ponting and Clarke hit double centuries as Australia turn the screw on India

Australia struck two late blows with
the ball late on day two of the fourth Test against India after double
centuries from Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke had led the hosts to 604
for seven declared at Adelaide Oval.

The tourists reached 61 for two at
the close of play on the second day, still requiring a further 344 runs
just to make Australia bat again as they look to deny the home team a
4-0 series sweep.

Run and run: Michael Clarke celebrates his double century

Run and run: Michael Clarke celebrates his double century

Gautam Gambhir (30 not out) and Sachin Tendulkar (12no) will be looking to spend as much of Thursday as possible out in the middle after the Indians lost acting captain Virender Sehwag (18) and Rahul Dravid (one) in the post-tea session.

India's reply started well enough when Gambhir helped himself to a juicy wide, full toss loosener from Ryan Harris the first ball of the innings, which the left-handed opener dispatched for four through point.

Sehwag survived an early chance on five when he clipped a Ben Hilfenhaus delivery off his pads to a sprawling Ed Cowan, who dropped a sharp chance at mid-wicket.

The swashbuckling opener thrashed Harris for a couple of trademark off-side boundaries, but he was unable to cash in on his earlier good fortune.

Big hit: Australia's Ricky Ponting

Big hit: Australia's Ricky Ponting

Peter Siddle was introduced into the attack after just four overs and struck gold immediately when, with his first ball – a low full toss – he plucked a leaping, one-handed return catch off the leading edge of Sehwag's bat.

Sehwag trudged off for a run-a-ball 18, giving him a disappointing series aggregate of 136 runs at 19.42.

The following over, the equally out-of-form Dravid was sent packing for one after being bowled by Hilfenhaus, the ball deflecting off Dravid's right elbow.

Remarkably, it was the sixth time in seven stints in the middle that 'The Wall' had had his castle disturbed.

Overall Dravid has been bowled nine times in his past 11 Test innings.

When Tendulkar walked out to the crease, he was afforded what has become a customary standing ovation.

The 38-year-old was particularly watchful in the final hour, scoring just one run off his last 28 balls and looking determined to continue the resurrection mission alongside Gambhir.

Raise a smile Ponting celebrates his double century

Raise a smile Ponting celebrates his double century

Earlier, Australia captain Clarke declared the home side's innings closed shortly after tea following Harris' pulled six which raised the 600.

Harris (35no) supported Brad Haddin (42no) in an unbroken 71-run stand for the eighth wicket, after Ponting (221) and Clarke (210) supplied the real fireworks.

The present captain and former skipper joined forces before lunch on day one and were unbeaten for more than three sessions to seemingly rip the contest right out of India's grasp.

Ponting's was his sixth double ton, while Clarke – who was bowled by Umesh Yadav three balls after lunch – became the first Test captain and third player in Test history, after Sir Donald Bradman and Wally Hammond, to register a triple century and a double ton in the same series as his amazing run of form continued.

Got him: Australia celebrate dismissal of Rahul Dravid

Got him: Australia celebrate dismissal of Rahul Dravid

Prior to this series, Clarke's highest Test score was 168, against New Zealand in Wellington.

It was also the first time since 1965 that there had been two double centuries in the same innings for Australia.

Ponting and Clarke took full advantage of the batsman-friendly conditions, their 386-run partnership the highest in all Tests at Adelaide Oval and the best ever in Australia-India encounters.

While the pitch remains a good one to bat on for now, the Australians' more potent bowling and intent in the field means there will be fewer easy runs on offer for India as they seek to avoid the follow-on and the ignominy of an eighth successive away Test defeat.

Michael Clarke breaks 300-run barrier at SCG

Records tumble as Clarke smashes 329 not out in rampant Aussie batting display

Australia captain Michael Clarke smashed a host of records as he notched a superb triple century before unselfishly declaring in the second Test against India, with Mike Hussey having just brought up his 150 at Sydney Cricket Ground.

Clarke became only the sixth Australian to pass the 300 mark and had moved on to 329 – a record score at the SCG, the highest score by an Australian against India, and the highest score in Australia-India Tests – before declaring on 659 for four.

Sydney salutes: Australia's Michael Clarke is cheered by the SCG as he celebrates reaching his triple century

Sydney salutes: Australia's Michael Clarke is cheered by the SCG as he celebrates reaching his triple century

His decision, which meant his team had a 468-run lead, came after Hussey reached the 150 milestone and ended a 334-run fifth-wicket stand between the pair.

It saw him head to the pavilion five runs short of the 334 Mark Taylor registered against Pakistan in 1998/99, which remains the record score by an Australia skipper.

After breaking through for his maiden double century late on day two, run-hungry Clarke picked up where he left off when play resumed.

In passing the top score ever seen at the SCG, the 30-year-old overtook Englishman Tip Foster (287) and West Indian Brian Lara (277).

Immovable: Clarke produced a masterclass of batting to demoralise the tourists

Immovable: Clarke produced a masterclass of batting to demoralise the tourists

Foster, who also represented England in football, scored his 287 on debut in the 1903/4 Ashes series, while Lara's 277 came in the 1992/93 series.

Clarke ticked off the West Indian's mark with a lofted four through mid-wicket off Ravichandran Ashwin and went past Foster with a boundary through the offside soon after.

Sealed with a kiss: Clarke's 329 not out was the highest score ever at the ground

Sealed with a kiss: Clarke's 329 not out was the highest score ever at the ground

Hussey became the third centurion of the innings, bringing up his ton with a sharp single shortly before lunch to join Clarke and former captain Ricky Ponting (134). The left-hander took just 188 balls to reach three figures, crashing 11 fours and a six.

Australia began the day at 482 for four and had no intention of letting India off the hook with a rash of wickets or early declaration.

The tourists were looking completely demoralised after taking just one wicket over the past two days.

India batsman Virat Kohli let his frustration get the better of him and was today fined 50 per cent of his match fee for making an obscene gesture towards a section of the crowd.

Australia v India: Tourists in command on day three

India on top despite Hilfenhaus heroics as Aussie openers fail on day three

Australia held an overall lead of 230 runs at stumps on day three of the first Test against India at the MCG, after reaching 179 for eight in their second innings.

Michael Hussey (79 not out) and Ricky Ponting (60) combined for a 115-run stand that halted a damaging top-order collapse – but the latter”s dismissal means India are in command of a see-saw contest.

Hussey, dropped in the slips by Rahul Dravid in the shadows of stumps, will join number 10 James Pattinson (three not out) when play resumes.

Steadying the ship: Hussey and Ponting

Steadying the ship: Hussey and Ponting”s stand halted the top-order collapse

Australia v India

Click here for a full scorecard

The hosts” top four each failed to reach double figures, undoing the superb work of Ben Hilfenhaus – who earlier today claimed his first Test five-wicket haul to earn Australia a 51-run first-innings lead.

Under-fire veterans Hussey and Ponting came to the crease after young Indian quick Umesh Yadav (four wickets for 49 runs) rifled through the top order to leave Australia teetering on 27 for four.

Ponting hit his second half-century of the match by driving off the back foot to deep point and then running all four runs to raucous applause of the 40,000-strong crowd. Hussey, out for a golden in the first innings, reached his 50 the next over as Australia regained the momentum.

But 36-year-old Ponting fell well short of a drought-breaking hundred when he presented a catch to gully off veteran seamer Zaheer Khan (two for 32).

And when out-of-form Brad Haddin was out for six, caught at second slip also to Zaheer, and tail-enders Peter Siddle (four) and Nathan Lyon (nought) followed, the tourists had wrested back control with two days to play.

Fifteen wickets fell on a day dominated by the bowlers despite there being no obvious signs of uneven bounce or menace in the wicket.

Aussie

Aussie”s ruled: Yadav traps Cowan LBW and Marsh”s stumps are rattled (below)

Aussie

The visitors lost seven wickets for 68 runs during the morning session to be all out for 282 after Hilfenhaus claimed five for 75 in a devastating spell.

He removed Dravid (68), Virat Kohli (11), MS Dhoni (six) and Ishant Sharma (11) to dent India”s challenge after they resumed at 214 for three, in reply to Australia”s first-innings 333.

Fans had barely settled in their seats before Dravid was clean bowled second ball of the day. The Tasmanian seamer produced a perfect delivery which came in and then moved away slightly to beat the outside edge of Dravid”s bat and hit the top of off-stump.

Siddle (three for 63) then had VVS Laxman caught behind by Haddin for two – and Australia took control when Hilfenhaus struck twice within three overs midway through the morning session.

Kohli presented a simple catch to Haddin after edging an outswinger and skipper Dhoni lasted three deliveries against the new ball before picking out Hussey at gully.

Nightwatchman Sharma provided the most resistance but eventually presented Haddin with his fifth catch of the innings.

However Australia blew a chance to take control of the match when they suffered a dramatic top-order collapse.

David Warner (five) was the first to go chopping a ball from Yadav onto the stumps while his partner Ed Cowan (eight) was out three balls later, foolishly leaving a ball that straightened and struck him on the pads.

Five alive! It was a memorable day for Aussie seamer Hilfenhaus

Five alive! It was a memorable day for Aussie seamer Hilfenhaus (and below)

Five alive! It was a memorable day for Aussie seamer Hilfenhaus

Shaun Marsh was bowled for three, playing on to his stumps when attempting to drive a pitched-up Yadav ball.

Then captain Michael Clarke (one) made it a pair of failures in the series opener when Sharma tore through his defence with a 149.9 km/h thunderbolt.

India”s enforced absence of the decision review system has again worked to their advantage in this contest.

Ravichandran Ashwin was struck in front in the first session only to be given not out despite replays showing the ball hitting middle and leg stumps.

And replays showed Cowan”s dismissals – caught behind in the first innings and lbw in the second – were both incorrect.