Australia humbled India by an innings and 68 runs in the second cricket Test to take an unassailable 2-0 lead as Sachin Tendulkar missed yet another opportunity to get the century of international centuries here today.
India lost the first Test at the MCG by 122 runs and now for the second successive time they have lost with more than a day to spare. They have now suffered the ignominy of losing as many as six consecutive Test matches on foreign soil.
Resuming at 114 for 2,India were all out for 400 with 25-odd overs of the fourth day’s play still remaining.
There were as many as four half centuries in the Indian innings Gautam Gambhir (83),Sachin Tendulkar (80),VVS Laxman (66) and Ravichandran Ashwin ( 62) yet none produced a gritty effort which could take the match into the fifth day.
Tendulkar again came close to the historic milestone of 100 international centuries but was dismissed by part-timer Michael Clarke to break a few million Indian hearts.
Even though the visitors chalk up 400 runs in their second innings,114 runs came for the last three wickets by when the match was as good as over.
Peter Siddle took 2 for 88 while James Pattinson,Michael Clarke and Nathan Lyon shared the other three wickets.
The two teams will now travel to Perth for the third Test beginning January 13.
The morning session had promised some rearguard action by the Indians as 129 runs accrued for the loss of a solitary wicket of Gautam Gambhir.
Gambhir,overnight 68,was out on 83 when his attempted push towards mid-on only resulted in a slice to point where David Warner accepted the simple chance with glee. The southpaw batted for 217 minutes and faced 142 balls slamming 11 fours.
The opener from Delhi once glided James Pattinson through slips and then hammered a four off the backfoot against him before ending his innings in a disappointing manner.
Tendulkar,batting on overnight score of 8,had once spent 51 balls without scoring last evening but was in an aggressive mood to start with.
He reeled off a series of fours off Ben HIlfenhaus,five in all and all in the point region,as he quickly moved towards his half century.
VVS Laxman,who came to the crease with scores of 2,1,2 from three innings,was dropped on nought by wicketkeeper Brad Haddin down the legside off a Siddle delivery.
The right-hander then got into his stride and what helped him was the introduction of off-spinner Nathan Lyon into the attack.
Laxman began with a flicked four off Lyon and then cover drove Siddle through the covers from the other end. He then cover drove the off-spinner to get his innings underway.
Due to the enterprise of the batsmen this morning,
Indians added 79 runs from 13 overs in the first hour’s play.
Tendulkar,from the other end,reached his half century with flick for two to fine leg. In took the master batsman 89 balls and 138 minutes to reach his half century with seven fours.
Tendulkar took only 48 balls to add 42 runs to his overnight score this morning.
Laxman and Tendulkar looked in good touch,the former cutting Hilfenhaus smartly and Tendulkar repeating the dose against Pattinson. The senior-most player also played his trademark uppercut off Pattinson.
It was a satisfactory pre-lunch session for the visitors who put on 129 runs off 27 overs. Tendulkar,unbeaten on 70,was looking good for his hundred.
But the floodgates were opened once Tendulkar nicked a delivery from part-time left-arm spin of Michael Clarke to Michael Hussey at first slip via the gloves of wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.
Tendulkar had added 10 more runs to his lunch time score through ones and twos when he came forward almost in a pre-meditated manner to Clarke and could do no better than edge a chance.
Australians had resorted to bowling Clarke and Michael Hussey from the two ends in a bid to claim the second new ball as quickly as possible. Tendulkar’s scalp,just an over before the second new ball was claimed,was an unexpected gift to the hosts.
Tendulkar made his 80 runs from 140 balls in 215 minutes hitting nine boundaries.
The second new ball was now claimed and three wickets were now to fall off 22 deliveries. Hilfenhaus,that tormentor of the Indian batting in the series,made one leave Laxman’s defensive blade and just brushed his off-stump to take out the bails.
Laxman (66) batted for 132 minutes and 119 balls and struck seven fours. Skipper Dhoni (2) offered a return catch to Hilfenhaus which needed television replays to affirm that the catch wasn’t a bumped offer.
Virat Kohli (9),continuing his miserable form in Test cricket,tried to flick a delivery from Pattinson but it kept low and found him plumb in-front of the stumps.
Ashwin and Zaheer Khan then hit out lustily,more so the left-arm paceman who once clobbered a six and four off successive deliveries from Pattinson.
The 50-run stand for the eighth wicket duly arrived when Zaheer Khan stroked tweaker Nathan Lyon through the covers for three. It took them 44 balls and a mere 32 minutes for the landmark. Zaheer’s pyrotechnics finally ended when he lobbed a catch to Shaun Marsh at point,having made his 35 runs from 26 balls and hit five fours and a six.
At the tea break,Indians were 351 for 8,still 117 runs adrift. India’s tail wagged a little in the final session,Ashwin doing his batting average no harm with a well-compiled half century.
After 42 runs were put for the ninth wicket,Ishant Sharma was ruled leg before out to off-spinner Lyon. Ashwin was the last man out for 62 made off 76 balls with nine fours and a six.