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India skittled out for 196

Melbourne: The star-studded Indian batting line-up put up a spineless display to allow Australia take a firm control of the opening cricket Test with a substantial overall lead of 179 runs Thursday.

After polishing off the Australian first innings for 343, the Indian batsmen gave a pathetic account of themselves by being bundled out for a paltry 196 to give the home team a crucial 147 runs first innings lead.

Barring Sachin Tendulkar (62) and the in-form Sourav Ganguly (43), none of the other Indian batsmen could make much of an impact on a slow MCG.

First innings centurion Matthew Hayden (22) and Phil Jaques (10) showed no signs of discomfort as they took Australia to 32 for no loss at stumps on the second day which saw as many as 11 wickets fall. Brett Lee (4/46) and Stuart Clark (4/28) were the chief destructors for Australia with a devastating exhibition of seam bowling while spinner Brad Hogg chipped in with two wickets.

Tendulkar was a shining exception in the Indian innings with a brilliant effort but his departure triggered a collapse from which India never quite recovered.

He batted for 77 balls for his 62 runs and hit eight fours and a six. (AGENCIES)

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