India stabilise after losing openers

Chennai, Feb 23 (IANS) India batsmen Cheteshwar Pujara and Sachin Tendulkar stabilised the innings before tea was called, after both openers went cheaply right after lunch on the second day of the first Test against Australia at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here Saturday.

Chasing Australia's 380, openers Murali Vijay (10) and Virender Sehwag (2) departed by the middle of the sixth over. Stuggling at 12/2, Tendulkar (39 not out) and Pujara (33 not out) stuck it out together till tea and anchored the innings after the visitors were bowled out in the morning session.

Australia pacer James Pattinson clinched both the wickets, clean bowling the openers.

In the morning session, skipper Michael Clarke's valiant 130 took Australia to a competitive total when lunch was called. Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin finished with career-best figures of 7-103 while left arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja finished with 2/71.

Resuming the day at 316/7, overnight batsmen Clarke and Peter Siddle (19) added 45-runs in the first hour as Australia went past the 350-run mark.

The partnership was going strong but Clarke in his attempt to go for the big shots tried to hit out Jadeja, didn't get to the pitch of the ball and holed out to Bhuvneshwar Kumar at long-off.

Siddle was back in the pavilion in the next over as Harbahajan Singh finally got a wicket in his 100th Test with Virender Sehwag taking a easy catch in the slips.

Pattinson added valuable 15 runs but Ashwin wrapped up the tail picking up Nathan Lyon (8), caught by Virat Kohli at backward short-leg.