Cricket Australia Items/news/2013/3/22/aussies-holding-on-in-delhi

Aussies holding on in Delhi

UPDATED 24 March, 2013 11:15AM AEST | 26

Another impressive Indian bowling performance has reduced Australia to 8-231 at stumps on the opening day of the fourth Test in Delhi.

Ravi Ashwin (4-40 off 30 overs), Ravindra Jadeja (2-34 off 22) and Ishant Sharma (2-35 off 14) were the wicket-takers for India on Friday as the visitors continued to struggle against spin as they have throughout the four-match series.

India destroyed Australia in the second session in the Indian capital, taking five wickets, before Steve Smith (46) and Peter Siddle (47 not out) provided some much-needed resistance for the tourists.

Shane Watson was named as Australia's captain as regular skipper Michael Clarke succumbed to his recurrent back injury and after winning the fourth straight toss of the series, he followed the trend from the first three matches and elected to bat.

The pattern of this series continued early in the first session as it took India just 10 deliveries to claim their first wicket, with David Warner edging Sharma to Virat Kohli at second slip for a duck.

Phil Hughes was again forced to the crease early but came out firing, striking a boundary through cover off just his second ball faced.

Hughes struck nine more boundaries as Australia raced to 71 but the tourists probably would have accepted a more circumspect innings if it had lasted longer, as the 24-year-old chopped a Sharma delivery onto his own stumps in just the 21st over to be out for 45.

Australia were 2-94 at lunch but India quickly got on top in the second session as Ed Cowan (38) was bowled around his legs by Ashwin in the fifth over after the break.

India's spinners dominated the second session with Ashwin taking three wickets, while Jadeja claimed the crucial scalp of Watson for 17 as well as bowling Mitchell Johnson (three), with Australia slumping to 7-153 at tea.

Australia were in trouble but with Smith again proving himself under pressure and Siddle digging in, the tourists lost just one more wicket before stumps.

Ashwin snagged Smith late in the day as the 23-year-old was caught at short leg by Ajinkya Rahane but Pattinson (11 not out) hung around with Siddle as they ensured India will at least start the second day in the field.

Siddle finished the day with Australia's top score of the first innings so far with Smith, Hughes and Cowan the only other visiting batsmen to have produced decent enough tallies.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 22 March, 2013 11:07PM AEST

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