23 Mar 2013

Australia in trouble in fourth test

12:56 pm on 23 March 2013

Australia's batsmen showed their usual ability to get starts and get out on the opening day of play in the fourth test in India, slumping to 136 for seven before reaching 231 for eight at stumps, thanks to some determined efforts from their tail.

No.9 Peter Siddle will resume on a career-best 47 not out with James Pattinson on 11.

Steve Smith played a mature knock of 46 off 145 balls with three fours and two sixes, adding 53 for the eighth wicket with Siddle.

Opener Ed Cowan (38) and No.3 Phil Hughes (45) also got starts.

Offspinner Ravi Ashwin led the way for India with 4-40 off 30 overs, giving him 26 wickets for the series.

Shane Watson was named Australia's 44th captain after Michael Clarke failed to recover from a back injury top take his place in the side.

Watson's men were well-placed at lunch at 2-94 after losing the wickets of David Warner for a duck and Hughes.

Five wickets tumbled for 30 in a middle-order collapse including the key dismissal of Watson stumped for 17.

Smith says a score of 280 would be a reasonable effort on the Delhi pitch that's known as difficult.

A one-day clash between India and Sri Lanka in December 2009 was abandoned in Delhi due to a dangerous pitch.

Australia's quicks must now aim to exploit any terrors in the wicket with some fearsome fast bowling on day two.

Australia trail three-nil in the four-match series.