Ricky Ponting
Ricky Ponting Getty Images / Hamish Blair

Clarke, Ponting save first innings

AUSTRALIAN captain Michael Clarke and former captain Ricky Ponting have steered the home side to a strong position on the first day of the fourth Test against India at the Adelaide Oval.

SCOREBOARD

AUS 3/214

Ponting 91 no

Clarke 77 no

Heading into the tea break, the pair shared an unbroken 136-run stand after the tourists ripped through the Australian top order.

David Warner (8), Ed Cowan (30) and Shaun Marsh (3) all fell in the morning session, leaving the home side reeling at 3/84.

But just as they did in the second Test in Sydney, Ponting (91 no) and Clarke (77 no) combined perfectly to guide Australian's first innings away from trouble.

Australia three down at lunch

Australia has lost three wickets for 98 runs in the opening session of the fourth Test against India.

Winning the toss, Australian captain Michael Clarke sent his batsmen into the field of play, hoping to build a solid first innings in the chase for a series 4-0 white-wash.

However, the tourists had other ideas, and despite their failure in losing the Border-Gavaskar Trophy to the Australians, captured the home-side's top order.

Swashbuckling opener David Warner (8) was the first to fall, trapped in front by Zaheer Khan (1-13), before Shaun Marsh (3) continued his woeful Summer, clean bowled by Ravichandran Ashwin (2-20).

Ricky Ponting (43 no) and Ed Cowan (30) managed to stabilise the innings with a 53-run partnership, but just before lunch was called, Cowan became the Indians third victim.

Ponting and Clarke (8 no) will resume after the lunch break.

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