x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Ponting and Clarke hit double hundreds to leave sorry India reeling

The right-handers put on the fourth highest stand in Test match history for Australia who take the wickets of Sehwag and Dravid before the close.

Peter Siddle celebrates the wicket of Virendra Sehwag on day two of the fourth Test between Australia and India.
Peter Siddle celebrates the wicket of Virendra Sehwag on day two of the fourth Test between Australia and India.

ADELAIDE // Captains past and present – Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke – scored double tons and shared a record 386-run stand to give Australia the stranglehold after two days of the fourth and final Test against India at the Adelaide Oval.

After Australia declared on 604-7, India struggled to 61 for two at stumps on Wednesday, still needing 343 runs to avoid the ignominy of following on.

Australia are well placed to push for a 4-0 series clean sweep following wins in the first three Tests in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.

The 386-run fourth-wicket stand ranks fourth highest for Australia in all Tests. Ponting scored 221 while Clarke made 210 runs.

At stumps, India opener Gautham Gambhir was on 30 and Sachin Tendulkar on 12.

"It was about trying to get to 600 and we still had plenty of time left in the day, which is pleasing," Clarke told reporters. "We scored quite quickly in our innings and to take those two key wickets today is a really good start for us but there's a lot of work still to be done.

"It's about as good a batting wicket as you'll get so we're in for a good workout."

Indian paceman Ishant Sharma (0-100) was left grasping at the straws of history, recalling his country's victory at the Adelaide Oval eight years ago.

"There is a positive, even in 2003 they scored 550-odd runs and we won the game from there," he said. "Everyone is positive and looking forward to a good next three days."

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