Australia v India: Ricky Ponting reaches 13,000-run milestone

Fourth Test, Adelaide (day one):
Australia 335-3 v India
Match scorecard
Australia captain Ricky Ponting
Ponting's place in the team had been questioned before the series

Ricky Ponting became only the third batsman to score 13,000 Test runs as Australia reached 335-3 on the first day of the final Test against India.

The former Australian captain, 37, reached the milestone on his way to 137 not out, his 41st Test century.

Current skipper Michael Clarke, who closed on 140, has put on 251 with Ponting for the fourth wicket.

India put early pressure on Australia with Ravichandran Ashwin taking two of the three wickets to fall before lunch.

Clarke elected to bat after winning the toss but the tourists, captained by Virender Sehwag in the absence of the suspended Mahendra Dhoni, made a quick breakthrough with two wickets in the opening 10 overs.

Zaheer Khan took the first, trapping David Warner leg before wicket for eight before spinner Ashwin bowled Shaun Marsh with a straight delivery for three to leave the home side 31-2.

Opener Ed Cowan put on 53 with Ponting for the third wicket before driving Ashwin straight to VVS Laxman at short cover to depart for 30 shortly before lunch.

But after the break, Ponting and Clarke, who shared a 288-run partnership earlier in the series at Sydney, took advantage of a decent batting track to again punish the Indian bowling attack.

Both players reached their half centuries from 69 balls and, moments after Clarke raised his bat to acknowledge his 50, Ponting saluted the crowd on reaching 13,000 Test runs.

The right-handed batsman swept Ashwin to square leg to move to 81 and join Indian pair Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, who were both on the field, as the only men to pass the milestone.

He brought up his second century of the series with a push through the gully region off Zaheer to draw level with South Africa's Jacques Kallis in second place on the most Test centuries list - Tendulkar leads the way on 51.

Four overs later, 30-year-old Clarke completed his fifth century in 12 Tests since succeeding Ponting as skipper.

Ishant Sharma, who finished with 0-50, almost made a breakthrough with the second new ball late on day one when he caught the edge of Clarke's bat but Laxman was unable to hold a tough chance, diving to his right at at second slip.

In the next over, Zaheer also found Clarke's edge but this time the ball dropped just short of wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha.

Australia hold an unassailable 3-0 lead in the four-Test series.

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