Indian offspinner R Ashwin, drafted back into the playing XI for this match which was supposed to be played on a surface assisting spin, did very well to take two wickets early in the day. But then he ran into Michael Clarke.
That the Australian captain is the best player of spin in the side is known to all. And today he showed just how brilliant he can be against slow bowling. Twinkle-toed and aggressive, Clarke took 45 runs from 50 deliveries bowled at him by Ashwin – a strike-rate of 90.
Clarke took a special liking to Ashwin, slapping his third ball past mid-off for four. When Ashwin came on for another spell, Clarke welcomed him by hitting consecutive fours – first he rocked back to pull and then used his feet to drive over mid-on. After he crossed fifty, Clarke hammered three fours in one Ashwin over. It was a tactical move to go after Ashwin and paid rich dividends.