Australia regain control of first India test

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The Independent Online

Australia's batsmen regained control of the first test against India on a difficult pitch today, taking the visitors to 193 for five at the close of the fourth day.

Tenacious opener Simon Katich batted for more than three hours for his 34 and put on 50 for the third wicket with first-innings centurion Michael Hussey (31) after Australia lost two quick wickets.

All-rounder Shane Watson (32) and Brad Haddin (28) enjoyed an invaluable 65-run unbroken stand as Australia built on a handy, 70-run, first innings lead on a pitch that offered variable bounce.

India had clawed their way back into the match in the morning after Zaheer Khan's fighting 57 put the visitors in a race against time.

Resuming at 313 for eight, India finished at 360, frustrating the visitors until half an hour before lunch.

Fast bowler Ishant Sharma and off-spinner Harbhajan Singh took two wickets each to put Australia under tremendous pressure before Watson and Haddin came to the rescue.