Hussey guides Australia to strong position (Lunch Report)

October 10th, 2008 - 1:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Harbhajan SinghBangalore, Oct 10 (IANS) Michael Hussey surged towards his maiden hundred on Indian soil to put Australia in a position of strength on the second day of the first cricket Test at the M. Chinnaswamy stadium here Friday.Resuming at their overnight 254 for four, the visitors, driven by Hussey’s industrious batting and Brad Haddin’s resolve, had made 333 for five at lunch. The sixth wicket pair has already posted 74 runs and promising to extend the association in the post-lunch session.

Continuing from where he left last evening (46 not out), the left-handed Hussey stamped his authority with an impeccable 92, studded with ten classy boundaries. He drove with panache and made delectable clips off his pads. When the ball was dug short, he rocked on his back foot to send it screaming to the fence.

Haddin, like Hussey playing his first Test on Indian soil, batted without much ado, hitting Anil Kumble over the top when the leggie tossed the ball up in the air. Except for one occasion when he chipped Harbhajan Singh tantalizingly close to V.V.S. Laxman at short mid-wicket, the dapper stumper was in absolute command over the Indian attack which lacked thrust and bite.

Ishant Sharma struck an early blow when he castled Shane Watson with a beautiful breakback, to raise hopes of an Indian resurgence. But Hussey, who bats with the patience of a sage, and Haddin ensured that Australia were on a sound wicket, a perch from which it will be difficult for them to lose this Test.

India felt the pangs of going into the game with one specialist bowler too few. With Zaheer Khan and Ishant running out of steam in the first hour of the day, it was left to Kumble and Harbhajan to produce the breakthrough. But the celebrated spinners barely troubled the well ensconced Hussey and Haddin.

From here on it will be India who will have to fight to save this Test on a wicket which is expected to wear out.

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