Top order collapse leaves India reeling against Australia (Lunch Report)

October 11th, 2008 - 1:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Oct 11 (IANS) India found themselves in a spot of bother at lunch on Day Three of the first cricket Test against Australia at the Chinnaswamy stadium here Saturday. Resuming at the their overnight 68 for no loss, and chasing Australia’s 430, India had made 133 for four.Rahul Dravid (35) and Sourav Ganguly (7) were at the crease.

India lost four wickets in a trice this morning as left arm fast bowler Mitchell Johnson ran through the top order with the priced wickets of Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and V.V.S. Laxman. Fiery paceman Brett Lee removed Gautam Gambhir in the second over of the day, trapping the left hander right in front of the wicket.

After promising much, Sehwag threw his wicket away, wafting his willow at a distant Johnson delivery. He barely added two runs to his overnight 43.

Former India coach Greg Chappell’s hand in the dismissal of Tendulkar and Laxman was emphatically apparent in the manner in which the field had been set for the two Indian batsmen.

Knowing pretty well that Tendulkar tends to jab at deliveries at the start of his innings, Ponting had Cameron White strategically placed between point and cover. The Mumbaikar had survived a close call in the previous over when the ball fell short of White. But he meekly drove at a slower delivery from Johnson for White to complete an easy catch, his first in Test cricket.

Laxman’s fetish to stick his bat out at the deliveries that are directed in the corridor saw him perish without troubling the scorer. His fall at 106 left the Indian innings in tatters.

But a determined Dravid, who is yet to score a hundred on his home ground, and an equally determined Ganguly, set to retire at the end of the four-match Test series, kept the Aussie pace attack at bay. A lot will depend on this pair if India are to save this Test.

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