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Aussies waste good start

Steve Smith impressed with an unbeaten half- century.

Steve Smith impressed with an unbeaten half- century.

CHANDIGARH – Michael Clarke was out for a golden duck as Australia reached 273 for 7 on day two of the third Test against India in Chandigarh today.

Already 2-0 down in the four-match series and with four of their squad banned for this match for failing to complete a feedback assignment, Australia skipper Clarke opted to bat first after winning the toss when play finally got under way on the second morning after a washout on the opening day.

Openers Ed Cowan and David Warner made a strong start, batting throughout the morning session to see the tourists to lunch on 109-0.

They extended their stand to 139 before Warner edged behind for 71 off Ravindra Jadeja’s bowling, the first of three wickets on the day for the left-arm spinner.

Jadeja struck again immediately when Clarke – promoting himself to number three for this Test – was stumped first ball.

Australia had slumped to 151-3 when Phil Hughes’s 31-ball stay for two runs ended with him being caught behind off left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha (1-62).

And the wickets continued to fall in the evening session, off-spinner Ravi Ashwin (1-64) had Cowan held at slip for 86 before paceman Ishant Sharma (2-41) removed Brad Haddin (21) and Moises Henriques (0).

Peter Siddle went lbw to Jadeja for a duck before the close, leaving Steve Smith (58 not out) and Mitchell Starc (20 not out) to see out the final six overs of the day.

With James Pattinson, Shane Watson, Usman Khawaja and Mitchell Johnson not considered for selection, Australia were forced into a revamp of their team.

Haddin replaced injured wicketkeeper Matthew Wade, while Nathan Lyon, Smith and Starc came in for Glenn Maxwell, Watson and Pattinson, with Clarke moving up the order from his usual spot at five. (Sky)

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