Chennai: Midway through the first day's play in Chennai on Friday (February 22), with Australia reeling at 153 for 5 after 47 overs, India might have entertained visions of batting after tea. But Michael Clarke, who scored 626 runs in the home series against India just over a year ago, and Moises Henriques, who batted with tremendous composure on debut, then added 151 in just 254 balls to ensure that honours would be shared on the opening day of this four-Test series. R Ashwin bowled beautifully at times to take the first six wickets to fall, but Clarke's sixth century against India led his team to the relative safety of 316 for 7 at stumps.
Henriques, who scored a large proportion of his runs through midwicket, fell to the sweep a quarter of an hour before stumps, and Ravindra Jadeja bowled Mitchell Starc soon after to ruin any chances of Ashwin joining Jim Laker and Anil Kumble in the perfect-ten category. The last word, however, belonged to Clarke, who got to his hundred in the final over of the day, having taken just 168 balls for it.
The story of the day would have been so very different if Kumar Dharmasena had upheld a vociferous appeal from Ashwin for a bat-pad catch when Clarke had made just 39, and Australia 206. There was a clear inside edge on to the flap of the pad, but despite the Indians going up in unison, Dharmasena was unmoved.