Clarke, Smith hit tons to put Australia in control

Adelaide, Dec 10: Captain Michael Clarke fought through pain to slam 128, while Steve Smith also produced a career-best hundred against India's hapless bowling attack as Australia piled up a mammoth 517 for seven to take control of the first cricket Test on a rain-truncated second day, here today.

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Clarke defied a back injury, which had forced him to leave the field yesterday, to notch up his 28th Test ton and combined with Smith (162 not out) to steer Australia to a commanding position on a stop-start day.

It was a frustrating day for the Indians as they leaked runs and managed to garner just one wicket at the fag end of play by getting rid of Clarke with debutant Karn Sharma providing the breakthrough.

The Indian pace bowlers were far from impressive as they bowled a poor line and length and seldom troubled the Australians. Clarke, despite the back injury, managed to play his shots effortlessly, presented too often by loose deliveries by a rather listless attack. (Clarke in Bradman-led elite list)

Smith, on the other hand, continued his good form to clinch his fifth Test century and was undefeated on a career-best 162 when play was called off early due to fading light and rain interruptions.

Smith runs as he celebrates his ton

In all, there were three rain interruptions during the day on which merely 30 overs could be bowled.
Emotions were still running high in the aftermath of Phillip Hughes' death and both Clarke and Smith looked heaven-wards after completing their hundreds to pay tributes to the late batsman, who was named the honourary 13th man before the match.

For the Indians, however, it was only frustration and Virat Kohli could barely hide his disappointment with his bowlers, who just could not find their rhythm.

The three quick wickets picked up last evening had brought the visitors back into the game but the momentum was quickly lost today when Clarke and Smith put on 163 runs for the seventh wicket, scoring at a brisk rate.


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