SYDNEY, Jan 6 (PTI): 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.
Ben Hilfenhaus ripped the heart out of India’s batting, claiming Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Laxman and Mahendra Singh Dhoni as his victims for figures of 5 for 106.
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.
India (Ist Innings) 191
Australia (Ist Innings) 659 for 4 decl
India (2nd Innings): Gambhir c Warner b Siddle 83, Sehwag c Warner b Hilfenhaus 4, Dravid b Hilfenhaus 29, Sachin c Hussey b Clarke 80, Laxman b Hilfenhaus 66, Dhoni c and b Hilfenhaus 2, Kohli lbw b Pattinson 9, Ashwin c Lyon b Hilfenhaus 62, Zaheer c Marsh b Siddle 35, Ishant Sharma lbw b Lyon 11, Umesh Yadav not out 0. Extras: (B-6, LB-3, W-2, NB-8) 19. Total: (all out, 110.5 overs) 400. Fall of wicket: 1-18, 2-100, 3-168, 4-271, 5-276, 6-286, 7-286, 8-342, 9-384, 10-400. Bowling: James Pattinson 23-4-106-1, Ben Hilfenhaus 32.5-8-106-5, Peter Siddle 24-8-88-2, Nathan Lyon 20-2-64-1, Michael Clarke 9-0-22-1, Michael Hussey 2-0-5-0.