Australia reach 405 for six at lunch before rain stopped play

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Adelaide: Steven Smith and skipper Michael Clarke helped Australia reach a commanding 405 for six before rain forced an early lunch on the second day of the first cricket Test against India here on Wednesday.

Nearly an hour of play was lost with the session also beginning 10 minutes late after injured Clarke returned to the crease with a heavily strapped back on this second morning, thanks to painkilling injections.

Clarke resumed his innings on 60 and was batting on 85 not out (117 balls, 13 fours) with Smith, who was unbeaten on 98 runs (171 balls, 14 fours) when rain stopped play.

The two batsmen added 51 unbroken runs for the seventh wicket till the lunch break, even as the Indian bowlers struggled to make any impact with the second new ball, still fresh despite overcast skies.

Mohammad Shami got the day’s play underway and first-up Ishant Sharma was his attack partner on day two. But the two medium-pacers repeated the mistakes made on day one morning, bowling short of length and wide off stumps, giving the batsmen too much room to play.

The resultant was a clutch of boundaries, five within the first four overs.

The most disappointing bit was that the bowlers were making no efforts to trouble Clarke, who was batting under distress and appeared to be in some pain. Yet the captain managed to play his strokes and score at a fast pace, adding 25 runs off 33 balls he faced this morning.

Leg-spinner Karn Sharma was introduced into the attack even before Varun Aaron despite cloudy skies affording some movement. But even when the fast bowler came on, he was as unimpressive as the other two quick bowlers.

At the other end, Smith was also in hurry to steal runs as the second new ball was still hard and the bowling appeared listless and without direction. He added 26 runs to his overnight tally.

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