x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Clarke hails all-round bowlers as India lose Boxing Day Test

Pattinson takes man of the match as the visitors collapse on the fourth day to give Australia a winning start to the series.

James Pattinson is turning out to be a revelation for Australia.
James Pattinson is turning out to be a revelation for Australia.

Captain Michael Clarke saluted his three pacemen for twice knocking over India's strong batting line-up to earn Australia an emphatic winning start to the four-Test series in Melbourne today.

The Australian pace trio of James Pattinson, Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus shared 19 wickets to restrict India to a two-innings total of 451 as the home side romped to a 122-run victory in four days.

The pace attack reduced India's regal top order to 81 for six as the tourists failed to come close to the challenging target of 292 runs needed for victory. India fell apart to finish all out for 169 off 47.5 overs late on the fourth day.

Sachin Tendulkar was India's top scorer with 73 in the first innings and just 32 in the second.

"It was a really hard-fought Test match and we have to be at our best to beat India," said Clarke, who improved his record as Test skipper to four wins from nine Tests.

"They've got a lot of class players, their batting order is as strong as any batting order in the world, so for our bowlers to have success I think they deserve a lot of credit.

"It helps when you've got three fast bowlers bowling with great control, good pace. That makes a big difference."

Pattinson, just 21, has made a huge impression in his three Tests this season and picked up his second man-of-the-match award with six wickets for 108 and two unbeaten knocks of 18 and 37.

In three Tests, the youngster from Victoria state quick has captured 16 wickets and impressed with his resolute batting at number nine.

All three seamers contributed significantly with the bat, with Siddle hitting 41 in the first innings and Hilfenhaus chipping in with knocks of 19 and 14 along with Pattinson's two unbeaten knocks.

"The advantage we have at the moment is 'Sidds' and 'Patto' are making runs so they're making up for a few of us like me. I didn't make any runs," Clarke said.

"It's fantastic to get a win against India, who we love beating, and put the disappointment of the New Zealand loss in Hobart behind us," said Pattinson.

"We were in a bit of trouble last night but credit to Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey to get us out of trouble.

"We've just got this never-say-die attitude sort of feeling in the camp at the moment and it's a great feeling."

India were always up against it as they faced up to the highest fourth-innings run chase in almost 60 years at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. South Africa were the last team to achieve a higher fourth-innings target of 297 for four in beating Australia at the MCG in 1953.

"We should have been able to chase 300 with the kind of batting we've got, so another bad start to a Test series," said captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni after India's fifth consecutive loss in an away Test.

"I think all the bowlers did a very good job and got us back into the game, but I just think the batting needs to click a bit more."

Dhoni, who now has the task of lifting his team of batting superstars for next week's second Test in Sydney, said the tourists had to show more consistency to get back into the four-Test series.

"We need to score more runs. Otherwise, it would be very difficult for us to win. We need to apply ourselves a lot more and if we do that I have no doubt that we would come back strongly."



Australia 1st innings 333 (E Cowan 68, R Ponting 62; Zaheer Khan 4-77)

India 1st innings 282 (S Tendulkar 73, R Dravid 68, V Sehwag 67; B Hilfenhaus 5-75)

Australia (2nd innings, overnight 179 for 8):

D Warner b Yadav 5

E Cowan lbw b Yadav 8

S Marsh b Yadav 3

R Ponting c Sehwag b Zaheer Khan 60

M Clarke b Sharma 1

M Hussey c Dhoni b Zaheer Khan 89

B Haddin c Laxman b Zaheer Khan 6

P Siddle c Dhoni b Yadav 4

N Lyon lbw b Ashwin 0

J Pattinson not out 37

B Hilfenhaus c Laxman b Sharma 14

Extras (b5, lb2, w1, nb5) 13

Total (all out; 76.3 overs) 240

Fall of wickets: 1-13 (Warner), 2-16 (Cowan), 3-24 (Marsh), 4-27 (Clarke), 5-142 (Ponting), 6-148 (Haddin), 7-163 (Siddle), 8-166 (Lyon), 9-197 (Hussey), 10-240 (Hilfenhaus)

Bowling: Zaheer Khan 20-4-53-3 (1w, 3nb), Yadav 20-4-70-4, Sharma 12.3-0-43-2 (2nb), Ashwin 22-4-60-1, Sehwag 2-0-7-0

India (2nd innings):

G Gambhir c Ponting b Siddle 13

V Sehwag c Hussey b Hilfenhaus 7

R Dravid b Pattinson 10

S Tendulkar c Hussey b Siddle 32

VVS Laxman c Cowan b Pattinson 1

K Kohli lbw b Hilfenhaus 0

MS Dhoni b Pattinson 23

R Ashwin c Cowan b Siddle 30

Z Khan c Cowan b Pattinson 13

I Sharma not out 6

U Yadav c Warner b Lyon 21

Extras (lb10, w2, nb1) 13

Total (for all out; 47.5 overs) 169

Fall of wickets: 1-17 (Sehwag), 2-39 (Gambhir), 3-58 (Dravid), 4-68 (Laxman), 5-69 (Kohli), 6-81 (Tendulkar), 7-117 (Ashwin), 8-141 (Zaheer), 9-142 (Dhoni), 10-169 (Yadav)

Bowling: Pattinson 15-2-53-4 (1w, 1nb), Hilfenhaus 18-4-39-2 (1w), Siddle 9-1-42-3, Lyon 5.5-0-25-1

Australia won by 122 runs