As it happened: Spinners reduce Australia to 231/8

1630 IST

Australia are 231/8 after 98 overs, with Siddle on 47 and Pattinson on 11

Peter Siddle is the top scorer for Australia on the first day in Delhi. Australia will be pleased at their recovery from 136/7 but they will be livid at another top order collapse. Losing wickets in bunches is something that has plagued Australia all series and it bit them again today.

A number of batsmen through away their wickets with poor shots and hopefully they watched the way Smith and Siddle played. Straight bats most of the time, and with plenty of patience.

India will be annoyed that they didn't bowl out Australia when they had them on the ropes. That has also been a theme of this series (and a theme for India for much longer), but it hasn't hurt the home side because Australia have batted so poorly at the top.

Join us again tomorrow for day two.

1624 IST

Australia are 230/8 after 97 overs, with Siddle on 46 and Pattinson on 11

This tells its own story.

1600 IST

Australia are 211/8 after 92 overs, with Siddle on 31 and Pattinson on 7

Now it is the turn of Pattinson and Siddle to further stonewall India's bowlers. Their ability to keep out India's bowlers is an indictment of the way the top order played. They have resisted for 10.4 overs and India are drifting dangerously close to the end of play without rolling over Australia.

Of course, there is no urgency to roll over Australia. The series is over. This Test is purely of academic interest.

1539 IST

Australia are 202/8 after 87 overs, with Siddle on 27 and Pattinson on 6

Ashwin beating Pattinson's bat on a regular basis but no joy for India. He pushes Jadeja for single in the next over to bring up Australia's 200. Hardly a milestone Australia will want to cheer having been 106/2 at one stage. Then again, they were 136/7 shortly afterwards.

1517 IST

Australia are 189/8 after 81.2 overs, with Siddle on 20

Steve Smith c Rahane b Ashwin 46 (145b, 3x4, 2x6)

Smith's long vigil is over. A sharp offbreak from Ashwin takes the inside edge and Rahane reacts just as sharply at short leg to stick out his left hand and grab the ball. Excellent effort from Smith.

His partnership with Siddle was worth 53 from 27.2 overs. The pair showed the top order that you can make some sort of progress if you knuckle down and are prepared to graft and not try anything silly

1505 IST

Australia are 180/7 after 78 overs, with Smith on 41 and Siddle on 16

Smith livens proceedings up a bit with a sumptuous straight six of Ojha, who is still searching for his 100th Test wicket. Tossed up and Smith is quick to come down the wicket. He doesn't reach the pitch of the ball but swings through the line with a full follow through and the ball sails over the sigh screen.

This pair has pushed their partnership to 44 from 24 overs and India letting things drift a bit. They need a breakthrough soon.

1450 IST

Australia are 162/7 after 73 overs, with Smith on 31 and Siddle on 8

Smith and Siddle continued to frustrate India after the tea break. Jadeja had four men around the bat for Siddle - three on the offside and a short leg, but Siddle appeared not to be bothered.

Smith eased Ojha through the covers to provide some release for the visitors, but otherwise it was a case of simply protecting their wickets, with the odd single stolen every now and then.

1430 IST

Australia are 153/7 after 68 overs, with Smith on 25 and Siddle on 5

Jadeja started the last session of the day with a maiden. Can Australia avoid their lowest ever total on the opening day at the Feroz Shah Kotla?

1410 IST

Australia are 153/7 after 67 overs, with Smith on 25 and Siddle on 5

Ishant bowled the last over before tea looking for some reverse swing but didn't quite get his line or length right (which is what we are used to from Ishant).

Smith and Siddle have defended obdurately for 13 overs. India once again struggling to rip out an opposing tail.

The home side bowled a ridiculous 39 overs between lunch and tea. That's how quickly the spinners get through their overs. That so few runs were scored also upped the pace. More overs mean more chances to take wickets against Australia, who lost 5 wickets for 59 runs in that session.

The visitor's dressing room must be a very unhappy place at the moment. They look as clueless against spin as they did on day one of the first Test.

1400 IST

Australia are 152/7 after 65 overs, with Smith on 24 and Siddle on 5

Not much happening on the field. Smith and Siddle have added 16 from 11 overs. While scoring has been slow, there haven't been many chances either. The spinners have done all the bowling and while the odd one has turned and bounced, the batsmen have been largely untroubled.

Dhoni might want to bring back one of the fast bowlers just to shake things up a bit. There might be reverse swing on offer now.

1344 IST

Australia are 146/7 after 60 overs, with Smith on 21 and Siddle on 2

Smith is the only Aussie batsman prepared to stay at the wicket without trying anything fancy. He uses his feet to the spinners but there is no single-minded determination to hoick them over the infield. He is happy to ease the ball away for a single or defend if necessary. He gets a lot of stick from Aussie fans, but based on his performance with the bat in the last two Tests, that seems a tad unfair

1329 IST

Australia are 136/7 after 54 overs, with Smith on 13

Mitchell Johnson b Ashwin 3 (22b,0x4,0x6)

Ashwin has bowled Johnson. He doesn't read the carrom ball, chooses to leave the ball that pitches outside off, and it moves into the left-hander and takes the offstump. Forget 200, will Australia even get to 150? They don't seem to have learned anything from the first three Tests.

Smith has battled to 13 from 63 deliveries but he is fast running out of partners. Peter Siddle to keep him company now.

Johnson didn't realise he had been bowled initially. Dhoni was running down the pitch to congratulate Ashwin but Johnson was adjusting his gloves. He appeared to think Dhoni had appealed for the stumping but since his foot was in, he was fine. It took a word from the umpire to send him on his way.

1326 IST

Australia are 136/6 after 53 overs, with Smith on 13 and Johnson on 3

Smith and Johnson defend and defend. They have added 7 runs from the last 6.4 overs. After the hara-kiri of the last few Australian batsmen, they will not want to make the same mistake. Or they should not want to make the same mistake. Then again, not scoring any runs at all creates its own pressure.

Ashwin and Jadeja are the two spinners operating in tandem. Jadeja has looked the most dangerous of the three, with Ojha being the most disappointing. Jadeja has 2 for 9 from 8 overs.

1305 IST

Australia are 129/6 after 46.2 overs, with Smith on 11

Glenn Maxwell c Sharma b Jadeja 10 (16b, 1x4, 1x6)

Australia's batsmen continue to commit suicide. Glenn Maxwell, the million-dollar-man, charges Jadeja but can't clear Ishant and mid-on. Another tame dismissal.

Maxwell had already hit Ojha for six into the sight screen, and cut him past point for four, so there was no need to go after Jadeja as well. But these Australian batsmen can't seem to resist coming down the wicket to hit the spinners out of the attack.

Australia were 94/2 at lunch. They have lost four wickets for 35 runs.

Mitchell Johnson is out for his first bat of the series.

1250 IST

Australia are 117/5 after 41 overs, with Smith on 9 and Maxwell on 0

Matthew Wade c Vijay b Ashwin 2 (5b 0x4 0x6)

The wickets have begun to tumble. Wade pushes defensively at Ashwin but the ball doesn't turn as much as he expects and lobs off the pad to silly point. All the fields go up together but it is hard to see an edge on the replay. Pad and bat were very close together and Aleem Dar had no hesitation though.

1243 IST

Australia are 115/4 after 39 overs, with Smith on 9 and Wade on 2

Shane Watson st †Dhoni b Jadeja 17 (56b 3x4 0x6)

Now it is Watson's turn to give it away. Gives Jadeja the charge but doesn't get to the pitch of the ball. Dhoni completes an easy stumping. Jadeja picks up the wicket of an Australian captain again. There was no need for that kind of shot and another Aussie batsman gets in and then gets out.

Watson tried to play against the spin and closed the bat face too early. They just don't look Test class.

1239 IST

Australia are 115/3 after 38 overs, with Watson on 17 and Smith on 9

India are racing through their overs now with spinners bowling from both ends. Ashwin and Ojha combined for three consecutive maidens before Dhoni bring on Jadeja in place of Ashwin and Smith tries to clear mid-on. He doesn't get hold of it but the manage a couple of runs as the ball goes wide of Ishant.

Smith isn't prepared to sit around blocking, which is a good idea on this pitch. Goes after Ojha and hits him down the ground for six.

1223 IST

Australia are 106/3 after 33 overs, with Watson on 17

Ed Cowan b Ashwin 38 (99b, 7x4, 0x6)

The sweep is Cowan's undoing. Ashwin has been attacking legstump in this spell and this time Cowan misses the sweep and the ball turns enough to hit legstump. Another innings where Cowan has done all the hard work to get himself in but then throws it away with a poor shot.

Steve Smith is the new batsman.

1215 IST

Australia are 101/2 after 30 overs, with Cowan on 33 and Watson on 17

Ojha appeals for a catch at short midwicket but Pujara is not sure he took it cleanly. They go upstairs and the replays indicate it was a half-volley. Cowan then brings up Australia's 100 with a single.

Ashwin began the session after lunch and Cowan was happy to cut a slightly short delivery through the offside for four.

1130 IST

Australia are 94/2 after 28 overs, with Cowan on 27 and Watson on 16

Cowan and Watson took Australia to lunch without further losses. There were some loose deliveries from both Ashwin and Ojha, Watson cutting and pulling the latter for two fours in the last over before lunch.

Batting has not been as difficult as Cowan has made it out to be - he has taken 83 balls to make 27 - but the pitch has done a few strange things, with balls keeping low and one exploding at Hughes.

Ishant was India's best bowler on the opening morning, taking 2 for 21 from eight overs. Bhuvneshwar got some early swing, and troubled Cowan, but was also expensive. A couple of balls have turned sharply for the spinners, but it was mostly slow turn that the batsmen were able to combat.

Hughes looked good making 45, but had his concentration disturbed by a lifter from Ishant and chopped one onto his stumps a couple of balls later. Given Australia's recent top-order batting performances, they will feel the better of the two teams at the break.

1109 IST

Australia are 80/2 after 24 overs, with Cowan on 22 and Watson on 7

India have yet to have spinners operating at both ends in this Test. Ishant's successes has meant he has been given a couple of spells, while Bhuvneshwar was also given two spells.

Australia's 44th captain, shane Watson, gets off the mark with single to square leg off Ashwin before flicking Ishant for four when the bowler strayed down leg.

Pragyan Ojha is brought on as Ashwin gets a break.

1059 IST

Australia are 71/2 after 21 overs, with Cowan on 20.
PJ Hughes b Sharma 45 (59b, 10x4)

Ishant gets the breakthrough against the run of play. Ishant pitched one on a length and got it to seam in. Hughes was a little slow to get the bat down and it took the inside edge before hitting the base of leg stump.

A couple of balls earlier one reared up at Hughes from just short of a length. It was nasty and crashed into the helmet. That was enough to create doubt in the batsman's mind.

That is a big blow because Hughes was looking very good and very confident.

1044 IST

Australia are 58/1 after 18 overs, with Hughes on 37 and Cowan on 19.

Another maiden from Ashwin. Hughes content to defend from the crease.

Bhuvneshwar is proving to be expensive at the other end. After Cowan sneaks a leg-bye, Hughes crashes him through the covers - 32 of Hughes' 37 runs have come in boundaries.

1038 IST

Australia are 53/1 after 16 overs, with Hughes on 33 and Cowan on 19.

Hughes looking much more assured against Ashwin after his second-innings knock in Mohali. He is not the floundering fish from earlier in the series. Comfortably maneuvers Ashwin for a single between slip and silly point.

Cowan is also looking more settled and brings up Australia's 50 with a lovely cover drive off Bhuvneshwar.

1028 IST

Australia are 47/1 after 14 overs, with Hughes on 31 and Cowan on 15.

Ashwin is getting some turn but it is slow turn and therefore easy for the batsmen to counter. Hughes picks up a couple off his over. Bhuvneshwar replaces Ishant, but strays down leg and Cowan picks him off with a boundary, then steers him past gully for two more.

1020 IST

Australia are 39/1 after 12 overs, with Hughes on 29 and Cowan on 9.

Successive maidens from Ashwin and Ishant. Cowan showing why he faced more deliveries than any other batsmen from either side in this series.

1012 IST

Australia are 39/1 after 10 overs, with Hughes on 29 and Cowan on 9.

R Ashwin comes on in the ninth over and immediately appeals for leg-before against Hughes, who he has dismissed four times in this series already.

Hughes struggled mightily against spin in the first three Tests, but appeared to have worked out a method in his last innings, when he made 69. He works a full toss to the square leg boundary, then takes a couple of steps down the track and whips Ashwin through midwicket for another four off the last ball of the over.

Cowan continues to mostly defend stolidly at the other end. He does slash at a wide one from Ishant but the edge flies past gully and goes for four.

1003 IST

Australia 27/1 after 8 overs, with Cowan on 5 and Hughes on 21.

Hughes has raced to 21 from 17 balls. Cowan has 5 from 27.

Bhuvneshwar lost his length a little bit in his last over and Hughes took full advantage. He slashed the bowler through point twice in the over, using his strong bottom hand to whip through the ball, then drove him elegantly past a diving mid-off.

Ishant produced a maiden to Cowan.

0955 IST

Australia 14/1 after 6 overs, with Cowan on 5 and Hughes on 9

Bhuvneshwar continues to trouble Cowan, getting one to jag away from him but past the batsman’s despairing defensive poke. Another puff of dust from the pitch as the ball breaks through the surface.

Hughes looking good against the seamers, drives Ishant on the up through the covers, but the next one doesn’t bounce at all. Hughes goes for the cut but the ball passes a good few inches under the bat. Dhoni has to react sharply by bringing his pads together to keep the ball from getting past him.

0945 IST

Australia 9/1 after 4 overs, with Cowan on 5 and Hughes on 4

Phillip Hughes gets off the mark by smashing Ishant through point but Bhuvneshwar is proving to be a handful for Cowan at the other end as he gets the ball to move both ways.

In Ishant's second over, there is a huge appeal against Cowan as the bowler gets one to seam back in and cuts the batsman in half but the ball hit the top of the pad, not the bad. There is a puff of dust as the ball hit the pitch. Worrying signs for Australia in just the fourth over of the first day.

0933 IST

Australia 4/1
DA Warner c Kohli b Sharma 0

David Warner falls cheaply again. Ishant Sharma, in his first over, pitches one up and across the left-hander, who cannot resist flashing at it but only manages to nick it to second slip. That was not a good shot by Warner. He is an aggressive player but there is a difference between aggressiveness and foolishness.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar opened the bowling and got some swing immediately. Australia's first runs come from an edge off Ed Cowan's bat that goes for four down to third man.

0904 IST

Shane Watson continued Australia's trend of winning tosses and chose to bat first in Delhi. Australia have made a number of changes, some forced by injury, and will play three seamers. Matthew Wade has come in for Brad Haddin, Glenn Maxwell for Moises Henriques, James Pattinson for Xavier Doherty and Mitchell Johnson for Mitchell Starc.

Watson: The wicket will be best on day one and two so that's when we can make a good score. It is has been an amazing week. Hopefully we can do it well in the first innings

India were forced to make one change because of the injury to Shikhar Dhawan. AJinkya Rahane will finally make his Test debut.

Dhoni: I think it [the pitch] will assist the spinners. They may love to bowl on this kind of wicket. There will be something for the seamers. Not swing or bounce but reverse swing will come in to action and a little bit of low bounce may make it tough for the batsmen.

0851 IST

Michael Clarke has been ruled out with Shane Watson selected to captain Australia in the fourth and final Test against India.


Rahane is finally getting a game. Getty Image

Rahane is finally getting a game. Getty Image

In their 81-year history of Test cricket, India have never won four consecutive Test matches in a series and Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his boys will certainly hold the distinction of being the first if they can get past Michael Clarke's men at the Feroze Shah Kotla.

Skipper Dhoni does not endorse the word 'revenge' in sport but there is no denying the fact that his band of boys will be keen on setting the record straight having lost the series Down Under by an identical margin.

The pitch

The pitch doesn't 'look' very appealing if you are a batsman. Patches of rough and the colour suggests that it won't be easy to bat on. But then if you ask the Aussies, none of the pitches have been easy to bat on anyway.

Updated Date: Mar 22, 2013 17:01 PM

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