Double trouble for Aussies
Gautam Gambhir and VVS Laxman hit double centuries on day two as India took total command of the third Test against Australia.
By Joe Drabble
Last Updated: 31/10/08 11:46am
Third Test Match
India 613-7 dec (G Gambhir 206, V V S Laxman 200 no, S R Tendulkar 68) v Australia 50-0
Gautam Gambhir and VVS Laxman both hit double hundreds on day two as India took total command of the third Test against Australia.
For the second day in succession, the hosts piled on the runs thanks to Gambhir (206) and then Laxman (200 not out).
Their efforts meant for the first time India had two players score double tons in the same innings against the Australians.
Once again, the lack of a recognised Test match spin bowler at Ricky Ponting's disposal proved costly, as the visiting seamers toiled in the scorching Delhi heat.
After India declared on a mammoth 613-7, Australia battled back in a tricky 15-over spell before stumps as Matthew Hayden (16) and Simon Katich (29) guided the tourists to 50-0.
Starting the day on 296-3, Gambhir and Laxman wasted no time in reasserting India's dominance as the former clipped Stuart Clark off his pads to bring up his maiden Test 150.
The pair expertly negotiated the second new ball by harvesting 97 runs in the first session, Laxman picking boundaries at will in typically wristy fashion.
India's number five brought up his 13th Test century, and sixth against Australia, with a cover-driven boundary off leg-spinner Cameron White shortly into the second session.
Gambhir slammed 26 boundaries and a six enroute to reach 200 before being bowled by Shane Watson via an inside edge as the sparkling fifth-wicket stand of 278 finally came to an end.
Sourav Ganguly's stay at the crease was brief as he was dismissed by part-time spinner Katich for just five when he drove on the up through covers, only for Ponting to scoop up a catch at short cover.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni had presented Katich with a difficult return catch almost immediately after he came to the crease, however the spinner failed to grasp the ball.
Dhoni looked in ominous form, hitting Katich for consecutive boundaries and a six in one over while thumping Watson for consecutive blows in another.
But Watson got his revenge, inducing a drive that produced an edge which went straight behind to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.
A highly-entertaining 98-run partnership between Laxman and Anil Kumble then followed, before the leg-spinner was trapped lbw by Mitchell Johnson (3-143) for 45.
Zaheer Khan then continued his purple patch with the bat by blazing 28 off just 21 deliveries before Laxman registered his second double century against Australia.
The declaration followed immediately as India gave the Australia openers an awkward spell to negotiate before stumps.
Hayden and Katich defended stoically and attacked with purpose as they at least gave some respectability to a day dominated by the hosts.