Second day belonged fully to Australia as the sun shone over Adelaide. Ponting and Clarke continued their majestic partnership, extending it to 386 to flummox Indian bowling beyond redemption. In the process, both players completed their double centuries. Clarke, who also has a unbeaten triple century in Sydney under his belt, can boast of his prowess as captain and a superlative series, wherein he has completed almost 600 runs in 6 innings until now.
What was A bit surprising was the fact that both players didn’t pick the momentum throughout and the run rate, though healthy, doddered around 3.75. When they were dismissed and Hussey and Siddle fell shortly afterwards, it seemed India will at least have the privilege of bowling the team out. Yet, the late innings swagger headed by Haddin and supported by Harris created another half century stand and Australians declared with a psychological 604 runs in tow.
Left to bat 21 overs, India started on a quick note with a boundary off the first delivery. Sehwag seemed quite confident until he gave a leading edge to a half-volley and was neatly lapped by bowler Siddle. What followed was the biggest cricketing puzzle for a long time: How does ‘The Wall’ repeatedly get his timber uprooted. Dravid didn’t disappoint, once again being castled by Hilfenhaus.
Gambhir meanwhile kept batting with simmering confidence and struck some meaty cover drives, which absurdly look more elegant out of a left-hander’s bat (remember Saurav). The sponsors were inwardly praying that Sachin keeps his end up as tomorrow is a holiday both here and in India. Sachin descended from perfection to vulnerability and was beaten all end up twice by Harris, but survived somehow.
With India at 61 for 2 at stumps, writing of India’s recurring doom is pretty clear, and one waits with bated breath whether Sachin, Gambhir and Laxman can write a different story tomorrow.