India appear to be batted out of second Test

Sydney: India appeared to have been batted out of the current Test series as Australia, powered by an unbeaten double century by captain Michael Clarke and 134 by Ricky Ponting, plundered runs to take a mammoth 291 runs lead with six wickets in hand by close on the second day here today.

Clarke, who batted the whole day for an unbeaten 251, and Ponting, who hit his first century in two years, toyed with the ineffective Indian bowling attack as Australia piled up 482 for four in reply to India`s paltry first innings 191 all out. Mike Hussey (55) was giving company to Clarke at stumps on the second day which turned out to be a lacklustre day for the visitors, managing to take just one wicket.

After inflicting a 122-run defeat on the visitors in the first Test in Melbourne, Australia appear set for another big win which would give them an unassailable 2-0 lead in the four-match series. It will now be a Herculean task for the Indian batting line-up, which has come a cropper in three successive innings in the series, to escape from defeat with three days still left on a SCG pitch which does not have much for the bowlers.

India searched for a wickets all day, from the old ball to the new ball but they could not stop the home batsmen from plundering runs at will. They could grab just one wicket – that of Ponting – at the expense of 366 runs, the break-up being 120, 123 and 133 runs from three sessions of play.

Remarkable as Clarke`s power of concentration, range of strokes and stamina were, no less notable was the record 288 runs he forged with his former captain Ponting for the fourth wicket, improving upon their own 210 at Adelaide in 2008 – the previous fourth wicket best between the two nations. While Ponting ended his century drought of two years, 17 Tests and 33 innings – this being his 40th hundred in his 160th Test, Clarke notched up his 18th in his 78th Test.