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22 April 2024

Team India make a strong start in Adelaide Test

VVS Laxman of India (R) celebrates catching Ed Cowan out during the first day of the fourth test cricket match against Australia in Adelaide, January 24, 2012. (REUTERS)


Australia lost three wickets on the opening morning of the fourth and final Test with India after winning the toss at the Adelaide Oval on Tuesday.

The tourists, looking to restore some pride after drubbings in the first three Tests, celebrated taking the wickets of David Warner (8) and Shaun Marsh (3) cheaply in the opening 10 overs and Ed Cowan (30) nearing lunch.

Ricky Ponting (43) and skipper Michael Clarke (8) were at the crease when Australia went to lunch at 98 for three on a hot sunny day.

Warner, who smashed a 69-ball century on the way to a swashbuckling 180 in the third Perth Test win, only lasted 23 balls before he was trapped leg before wicket by Zaheer Khan.

He was followed by the imperilled Marsh, who again fell cheaply, lasting only 12 balls when he was bowled by a straightened delivery from off-spinner Ravi Ashwin.

Marsh did nothing to dispel doubts over his Test career with just 17 runs in five innings in the series batting at number three.

Cowan looked to have got set before he was caught low down in the covers by V.V.S. Laxman for Ashwin's second wicket 10 minutes before lunch.

Stand-in skipper Virender Sehwag was proactive with his bowling changes in the morning session, wheeling in Ashwin in the fourth over of the innings and rewarded with Marsh's wicket in Ashwin's fourth over.

Sehwag also bowled his offbreaks in tandem with Ashwin in the first session of the Test.

The tourists decided against playing two spinners and went into the Adelaide Test with Ashwin coming into the side for paceman Vinay Kumar.

India also named backup wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha for skipper M.S. Dhoni, who was suspended from the third Perth Test for slow over rates.

Australia went in with local off-spinner Nathan Lyon in their only change from the Perth Test with paceman Mitchell Starc named 12th man.

Test cricket's greatest runscorer, Sachin Tendulkar, was seeking his elusive 100th international century and had the chance to reach the mark at the Adelaide "home" ground of cricket legend Don Bradman.