A sensational spell of seam bowling from Ishant Sharma put Ricky Ponting through the wringer for an hour and then dismissed him as India put the squeeze on Australia’s pursuit of 413 for victory. Both Ponting and Michael Hussey struggled for any semblance of fluency as the Indians toiled with little reward on a slightly cooler morning at the WACA. Australia avoided further damage before lunch, with Hussey and Michael Clarke keeping alive hopes of a 17th successive win.
Ishant had had Ponting sparring outside off stump innumerable times, and induced more than one false shot in a spell where his rhythm was exceptional. Starting with an edge off Hussey that didn’t quite carry to second slip, he tested both batsmen with lively pace and steep bounce while maintaining great seam position. His height was the most significant factor, with even length deliveries causing problems. Ponting took one on the knuckles, and was never at ease all morning.
There were two excellent appeals for leg before turned down, the second when Ponting didn’t even offer a stroke, but justice was done 20 minutes before lunch when he drew him into a stroke that took the edge through to Rahul Dravid at first slip. Ponting and Hussey had added 74, giving a platform for the rest to tilt at what remains an imposing windmill.
Anil Kumble had set the tone for the session with a couple of overs at the start of the day. Hussey survived a good shout off the third ball of the morning, but the two left-arm fast bowlers, RP Singh and Irfan Pathan, couldn’t quite build on that. When Pathan was introduced, Hussey cut past point for four, and he generally struggled to find the swing and line that he had the previous evening.
Clarke got off the mark with a flashing square-drive off Ishant, but a nine-over spell as good as any seen from a visiting bowler in Perth over the past decade had pushed Australia right back on to the ropes.
Source:Cricket NewsMore on:Australia, India, India in Australia 2007, Ishant Sharma, Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey, Ricky Ponting, WACA
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Saturday, January 19th, 2008 and is filed under General, Cricket.
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