New opener Ed Cowan plays a classic cover drive. Photo: Pat Scala
LATEST SCORE: Australia 6/277 at stumps (Haddin 21, Siddle 34)
That's all the action for day one. Was a superb day's Test cricket, and this game looks really evenly-poised. Rohan Connolly here signing off from Blog Central, join us tomorrow morning for what looms as a fascinating second day.
Swarmy Army fans arrive at the ground for the opening day of the first test in the series, hoping to see Indian great Sachin Tendulkar make his 100th first class century. Photo: Paul Rovere
Teams: Australia: Michael Clarke (capt), David Warner, Ed Cowan, Shaun Marsh, Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey, Brad Haddin, Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, Nathan Lyon, Ben Hilfenhaus, Mitchell Starc (12th man). India: MS Dhoni (capt), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, VVS Laxman, Ravichandran Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav. (12th man not named).
6.53pm - STUMPS. That's it for day one, and what a ripper it's been. Australia is 6/277, and you'd have to say things are pretty delicately poised. Couple of early wickets tomorrow and India will be in the driver's seat again. This partnership between Haddin and Siddle could prove decisive, though, visitors will be cursing not breaking through the tail after dispensing with the middle-order.
6.46pm - Yadav's just gone for three fours in three balls, couple of lucky nicks from Siddle, but he's hanging around brilliantly and the Indians are becoming frustrated. Every run is valuable now and 300-plus again looking pretty likely.
6.36pm - Might have been a bit of karma there. Zaheer raps Haddin on the back pad, looked pretty out and was a huge shout, but umpire Erasmus says not out, and no DRS, so tough cheese, guys! 50 partnership's up, too, patient stuff from Haddin ... keep it going, Bradley!
6.24pm - Zaheer pitches one up, hits Siddle on the toe and goes straight to second slip. Huge shout from the slips, but this one is correctly turned down. Good rearguard action from these two, partnership now 40-odd.
6.14pm - India takes the new ball, Zaheer back into the attack, but no obvious extra movement. Thick outside edge from Siddle races away for four and takes him into the 20s. Good rally from the Aussies.
6.04pm - Six off that last over from Sharma, Haddin and Siddle have added 24 now and steadied the ship just a little.
5.58pm - Boy have the runs dried up! Haddin unusually subdued, but needs to be right now. Just 17 runs scored in the last 10 overs. New ball is due.
5.45pm - Sharma's bowling a good spell here, Haddin and Siddle are being really tested. This would be a good time for one of those gritty late-order digs from the Victorian paceman!
5.40pm - Got to hand it to the Indian attack in this last session. Been a tremendous turnaround from some pretty ordinary stuff they sent down early on. All about survival for Haddin and Siddle at the moment, don't think the scoring rate will be motoring along for a while.
5.27pm - Drinks taken with Australia in a bit of bother after losing 3/9 in three overs. We're not bad at the middle-order collapse, are we! Huge weight on Haddin's shoulders. This probably isn't the time for charging the quicks, Brad!
5.15pm - WICKET! Cowan's gone! Ashwin gets him to wave the wand and the faintest of nicks lands on keeper Dhoni's gloves. Aussies in a spot of bother now, great little period for India. Good round of applause for Cowan, fine, patient knock gave Australia a platform it's now busy throwing away. Just saw replay, not sure Cowan hit his, either! Was always going to happen once they went without the DRS, wasn't it!
5.07pm - I'm going to climb on the soapbox here and say the absence of the referral system is a disgrace. Absolutely no question that had it been in use, the Hussey dismissal would have been overturned. Can only hope this comes back to bite the side that refused to be party to it. And they wonder why cricket gets hammered for its administration!
5.00pm - WICKET! And controversy! Hussey's gone first ball, Zaheer gets one to climb steeply, Hussey pulls bat away, and after a big shout, he's given out! Replay shows he didn't get the edge, but with no referrals, he's gone, and he's far from happy. Zaheer on a hat-trick .... and Haddin survives it.
VIDEO: Clarke and Hussey fall in consecutive balls
4.59pm - WICKET! Clarke's gone, Zaheer goes around the wicket with immediate impact, gets one to jump sharply, raps Clarke on the glove and falls on to the stumps. First time the paceman's fired a shot, really, but smart bowling, that's made things a lot tighter!
4.46pm - And that's the 200 up, as Clarke flicks a lovely little leg glance off Zaheer, skipper's up to 30 now and looking set for a fair score. Only one batsman from five (Marsh) has failed to get a start today.
4.42pm - Few too many easy singles coming for Dhoni's liking. Clarke's slipping into stride well enough, Cowan remains like a rock. Zaheer back into the attack now, needs a good spell.
4.32pm - Clarke's just launched himself at a wide one from Yadav, and it sails over the head of backward point for four. This partnership's building fairly rapidly as well. Offie Ashwin needs to tighten up, little too loose for a finger spinner.
4.22pm - Our man Jesse Hogan has a good stat. Cowan's knock is already the best by an Australian opener in his first Test knock since Wayne Phillips made 159 against Pakistan all the way back in 1983-84.
4.18pm - And we're off again! Beautiful sunny afternoon now, Ashwin to open proceedings. There's 37 overs to be bowled in the final session.
3.54pm - TEA. That was another great session, producing 102 runs and a wicket. Australia has the edge, but only just, and a quick wicket or two after the break would change the situation dramatically. Cowan gets a well-deserved round as he walks off. Good stuff from Yadav, too, who's taken all three wickets. Has been expensive, going for about five an over, but has pulled out the wicket-taking balls his partners haven't been able to. Good Test match cricket, join you back here at Blog Central for more in about 15 minutes.
3.37pm - WICKET! Ponting's gone for 62, thanks to Yadav, who'd just replaced Sharma. Nice ball clips outside edge and flies to Laxman at second slip. Boy did India need that one. Good knock from the former skipper, best touch he's looked in for some time.
VIDEO: Ponting out for 62
3.33pm - Beautiful straight drive by Cowan off Ashwin for four. Has picked the right balls from which to score today, and the spinner's not looking as dangerous as he did in his first couple of overs.
3.23pm - Sharma coming around the wicket to left-hander Cowan, mixing it up a bit, and Aussie pair are treating him with appropriate respect. Cowan plays and misses to finish off. Good over, and a good battle between bat and ball at the moment.
3.12pm - 50 for Cowan! What a great knock, very patient and watchful before lunch, a lot more aggressive since. This guy's got the stuff! The 100 partnership's up, too. Been really solid this pair. Are taking the game away from India rapidly.
2.59pm - Sharma's lifting for Ponting, the veteran's going to have to knuckle down for a bit here. That's one of the tighter overs we've seen for a while.
2.50pm - 50 for Ponting! That's the drinks break, too. Ponting is looking really good now, and has scored at a tremendous clip, 52 from 67 deliveries. Starting to slp away from the Indians, who have bowled some real tripe, time for Ishant Sharma to produce his best.
2.42pm - Ashwin's dropping too short here, and Cowan puts him away to join Ponting in the 40s. Already a very impressive first Test knock. Partnership's worth 81 now.
2.33pm - Ashwin's back into the attack. Has had two spells of one over each so far ... can Dhoni let him bowl a couple in a row here?
2.27pm - Australia has scored 48 from 49 deliveries since lunch. Hasn't hurt that the Indians have bowled a fair amount of rubbish since the break. Ponting whips Yadav away for four again, moves into the 40s.
2.17pm - Cowan's doing this brilliantly. Has really opened up since lunch, lovely cut off Yadav produces another boundary, then punch through covers for a couple. Debutant's already scored more in 25 minutes since lunch than he did in the whole first session. But even then showed plenty of senior teammates a thing or two about survival.
2.10pm - Cowan brings up the 50 partnership with a lovely pull then a far streakier cut over the head of gully. Yadav's post-lunch work hasn't been nearly as impressive as his first spell.
2.04pm - Gee, Ponting's in a particularly aggressive mood, 32 from just 36 balls. Pulls another four from Zaheer, who's been disappointing thus far, spraying them and without much grunt, either.
2.00pm - Shot of the day from Cowan! Yadav puts it up in the slot and Cowan pulls out a majestic cover drive which races to the fence. Pushes a single next ball. Love this guy's temperament! Now Ponting joins the party, pulling Yadav behind square leg for four, then a three through covers.
1.55pm - Off-spinner Ashwin has started from the members' end, Ponting cuts him for a couple, then sweeps him down to fine leg for four. Looks like there's plenty of turn, though. This will be an interesting duel indeed.
1.51pm - We lost about 50 minutes there, this session will go two hours, and stumps are scheduled for 6.18pm. Zaheer bowls one ball to finish off that interrupted pre-lunch over.
1.48pm - Australian batsman walking out now, we're ready to go again. Buckle up!
1.45pm - Still waiting .. not far away from a restart. Time for Channel 9 to air the Michael Clarke profile again. Some interesting stuff, but did he have to do the voiceover as well? Syrup overload! See he gave the Ferrari another mention, too ...
1.27pm - Umpire Erasmus has just told us groundsmen are worried about another looming shower, and outfield is a little wet as well. Covers expected to be removed in about 10 minutes. Channel 9 crew not happy about the lack of urgency. Suspect crowd isn't too thrilled, either.
1.23pm - Update. Covers are still on, with a bit of water on them, but hasn't rained for 15 minutes. Will be a bit of mopping up after that. Not a lot happening, umpires and groundsmen pacing around.
1.10pm - Bad news, folks. Light but steady drizzle has delayed the post-lunch resumption. Covers are on, as are the lights. Looks we might be at least a half-hour away from seeing more play. Surprised there's debate about Cowan only scoring 14 in the first session. Would have thought still being there after the first morning of a Test match was the priority!
12.29pm - LUNCH. Little bit of drizzle again, so they're off a fraction early. That was a great first session though, plenty of runs early, then a terrific fightback from the Indians, Yadav in particular, who ended up with both wickets to fall. Warner was looking ominous, crucial wicket for the visitors, with a critical second session looming. Catch you in half-an-hour or so!
12.25pm - Got a fair bit of turn there, did Ashwin. Think Nathan Lyon might have enjoyed watching that over! One maybe two more overs before the break.
12.22pm - Crucial few overs before lunch here. If Aussies go to lunch at 2-for, they can just about claim the early points. Another wicket and you'd think India will walk off with a spring in their step. Dhoni's bringing the off-spinner Ashwin on for a trundle now.
12.12pm - Couple of awkward moments for Ponting, but he's looking more comfortable now, lovely pull off Zaheer for four. Cowan's easing into it, too, been a pretty low-fuss but important occupation of the crease. Big 15 or so minutes coming up here.
12.01pm - Ian Chappell's made some interesting observations about how wide a stance batsmen are taking these days, and he's got a point. If Cowan stands any wider, he's in danger of straining a groin!
11.51am - OUCH! Yadav has slammed a short one into Ponting, hits his arm and smashes into the side of his helmet. Veteran gets off the mark next ball though, with two. Great bowling from the paceman in only his third Test.
11.47am - WICKET! Marsh flashes at Yadav, and an uppish drive sees him caught comfortably by Kohli behind point for a duck. Wasn't the most responsible shot. Out comes Ponting for one very important innings!
VIDEO: Marsh out for a duck
11.38am - Great bowling Yadav. First ball to Marsh raps him on the pads and leads to a big LBW shout, second ball jams him up. Good comeback from the Indians.
11.35am - WICKET! Good bouncer from Yadav coming around the wicket first ball after the resumption, Warner's cramped for room but tries to hook and gets an edge which lobs up to keeper Dhoni. Gee, what a waste! That was a potentially great innings nipped in the bud.
VIDEO: Warner out for 37
11.32am - Really good first hour for the Aussies, Warner dashing as ever, Cowan playing anchorman, and the runs really ticking over, 46 from 78 deliveries. Clarke might have made the right call on the toss. Players coming back right now.
11.31am - Bugger! Little bit of rain has forced players from the field and the covers on ... no, hang on, they're coming off again! This could prove one of the shorter delays of play we've seen! Australia 0/46.
11.23am - SIX!! Warner smashes Yadav, coming around the wicket, right over the mid-wicket fence! That went miles! This guy hits it as hard as any batsman in living memory.
11.20am - There's the shot of the day from Cowan! Glorious off drive from Yadav screams to the fence. Then pushes another single, pretty composed stuff from the debutant. Warner spanks one uppishly through the covers for four. This is a really positive start from the locals.
11.16am - Little bit of drizzle fell a couple of minutes ago, thankfully not enough to interrupt proceedings. Light's poor enough for the lights to have been turned on, though. Aussie opening pair really starting to settle now, look a good pairing, too, Warner the sprinter, Cowan the stayer.
11.08am - Weather's still OK, but there are some dark clouds gathering over in the western skies, they look a little ominous, let's hope they stay away.
11.05am - On a sad note, Australia are wearing black armbands today as a mark of respect to team media manager Lachy Patterson, whose wife Louise lost twins after complications following their birth.
11.00am - Beautiful cover drive from Warner off Zaheer, who hasn't quite found his line yet, has 22 of Australia's 25 to date. At this rate will have 90-odd of Australia's first 100! Skipper Dhoni makes his first bowling change, Yadav on in only the eighth over.
10.51am - Typically aggressive attitude from Warner, his first 14 runs came from just 12 balls faced. Aussies looking good so far, nice push from Cowan keeps him ticking over as well. 0/17 after 5 overs.
10.42am - Big shout from Zaheer against Warner for caught behind turned down. Replay shows it flicked the pad, not that that would have made a huge difference with no referral system in operation this series. Warner spanks the first boundary of the day, plays and misses a couple ... eventful over, that!
10.37am - Cowan's off the mark in his debut Test with a little nudge! Almost disaster next ball, though, beautiful nut from Ishant Sharma sees Warner get a big inside nick down to the fence for four. Tense opening.
10.32am - And we're off! Tough initiation for new boy Ed Cowan, taking the strike with Zaheer Khan opening the bowling from the Great Southern Stand end. Handles it well, though. Maiden to start.