India stare big defeat at tea on 4th day

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Melbourne: The famed Indian batting line-up collapsed like a pack of cards as the visitors stare a big defeat at tea on the fourth day of the first cricket Test against Australia here today.

Chasing 292, India`s top-order batsmen produced a toothless batting display to see the visitors reel at 117 for six during the final break of the day.

In their quest for the highest fourth-innings chase at the MCG in 58 years, India lost half of their side inside the 100-run mark with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (14 batting) and Ravichandran Ashwin (30 batting) holding the fort for the visitors.

India, 24 for one at lunch, lost Gautam Gambhir (13), Rahul Dravid (10), VVS Laxman (1), Virat Kohli (0) and Sachin Tendulkar (32) in the afternoon session as the pace trio of James Pattinson (2/32), Ben Hilfenhaus (2/28) and Peter Siddle (2/40) wreaked havoc in the tourists` ranks.

Siddle started the rot when he had Gautam Gambhir caught by Ricky Ponting at second slip, fiddling at a bouncy delivery in the same manner as he had done in the first innings.

Tendulkar, who once again entered the ground to a standing ovation, came and drove his first ball into covers for three runs to convey his intentions clear.

An on-drive, with virtually the full face of the bat, by Tendulkar brought up the 50 of Indian innings.

Dravid was sedate but solid at the other end, yet Pattinson was able to create a huge gap between his bat and pad to knock back his middle stump. The right-hander hit one four during his 29-ball stay.

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