Krejza strikes after Sehwag gives India a good start (Lunch Report)

November 6th, 2008 - 2:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Nagpur, Nov 6 (IANS) Australia’s debutant off-spinner Jason Krejza struck twice in the first session reducing India to 122 for three after Virender Sehwag’s half-century gave the hosts a runaway start on the opening day of the fourth Test match at the newly constructed Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium here Thursday.Opting to bat first, Sehwag (66) and debutant Murali Vijay (33) - drafted in place of banned Gautam Gambhir - gave India a good start by adding 98 runs for the opening wicket. But then Krejza extracted some good turn to put the Indians on the back-foot.

Sehwag looked in fine touch and was severe on Australia’s pace spearhead Brett Lee. He hammered the fast bowler, who conceded 20 runs in just four overs, prompting skipper Ricky Ponting to replace Lee with Shane Watson.

Indian openers scored at a rapid pace in the first hour of the day and the 50 came up in 9.3 overs.

The 24-year-old Vijay looked calm and composed on his debut and played some fine shots square of the wicket. Sehwag on the other end raced on to his 16th half-century in just 45 balls.

Watson struck to break the partnership when Vijay failed to adjust to an awkward bounce and edged to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.

Krejza, who was spanked for a huge six by Sehwag, didn’t lose confidence and dismissed Dravid, who failed to open his account, as India slumped to 99 for two. Dravid’s form slump continued as he failed to adjust to some extra bounce and jabbed the ball to Simon Katich at short leg.

Trouble struck India again in the over before lunch when Sehwag tried to cut the off-spinner late but dragged the ball on to his stump to end the 69-ball innings.

Australia trail 0-1 in the four-match Test series and are in a must-win situation to draw and retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. They went in for a two-prong spin attack with Krejza replacing Stuart Clarke, and with leg-spinner Cameron White.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and had no hesitation in batting first on a virgin track at the brand-new VCA Stadium. Sourav Ganguly is playing his final Test and for Laxman it is his 100th Test.

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