Australia v India: Tourists sliding towards whitewash

Fourth Test, Adelaide (day four):
Australia 604-7 dec & 167-5 dec v India 272 & 166-6
Match scorecard
Australia celebrate the dismissal of Sachin Tendulkar (left)
Tendulkar's 10-month wait for his 100th international century goes on

India are near a 4-0 series whitewash - and an eighth consecutive away Test defeat - with one day remaining in the final Test against Australia.

Ricky Ponting's 60 not out allowed the hosts to declare at 167-5 just after lunch in Adelaide, settting India an implausible victory target of 500.

Stand-in India captain Virender Sehwag smashed 62 from 53 balls.

But they collapsed to 166-6 by close of play, with no recognised batsmen left and defeat looking inevitable.

Australia had began the day on 50-3, 382 ahead, but Ponting and captain Michael Clarke (37) added 71 for the fourth wicket to bat India out of the game, with the declaration coming three overs after the interval.

With the world record for a successful fourth-innings run chase standing at 418, India's target already looked more than unlikely when they lost Gautam Gambhir, who edged Ryan Harris to keeper Brad Haddin in the fifth over.

That was the cue for Sehwag's characteristic assault on the Aussie attack, which contained 12 fours, but his luck ran out when he danced down the track, aiming another big hit at spinner Nathan Lyon, and the ball flew off a leading edge to the safe hands of Ponting at cover.

If India's fans had hoped for veterans Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar to drag them out of trouble, those hopes were soon dashed as Dravid was caught at gully for 25 and the "Little Master", still one short of 100 international centuries, gave a simple bat-pad catch for Lyon to claim his second wicket.

VVS Laxman (35) and Virat Kohli (22) added 52 but both fell in the last 10 minutes of the day, with 37-year-old Laxman's position in the side looking ever more precarious as his career draws to a close.

Kohli had hit his maiden century in the first innings but perished off the last ball of the penultimate over, running a risky single to protect night-watchman Ishant Sharma from the strike.

Sharma had nervously survived facing Lyon with all nine outfielders around the bat, and was joined by wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha for the final over.

But with only tail-enders Ravichandran Ashwin, Zaheer Khan and Umesh Yadav to come, it will take a monumental effort - or assistance from the weather - for India not to suffer another humiliating defeat.

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