Paine guides Aussies to 400

Australia star Tim PaineThe first Test between India and Australia is nicely poised after Tim Paine’s 92 helped the Aussies reach 428 in their first innings in Mohali (Australia 4/6 to win Ashes series).

Shane Watson added another 25 to his overnight 101 before falling to Harbhajan Singh but Paine, who is playing for his place after Brad Haddin’s return to fitness, hit 12 fours before Zaheer Khan got the better of him.

Mitchell Johnson smashed 47 from just 66 balls, with five fours and three sixes, and even Ben Hilfenhaus chipped in with 20 as the tourists went past 400.

Zaheer was the pick of the bowlers with 5-94 and Harbhajan took 3-114 from 49 overs of off-spin.

The Indians are at home on the slower sub-continent pitches and they wasted little time making inroads into the Australia total, with Virender Sehwag smashing 59 from just 54 deliveries, with 10 fours, before he fell to Johnson.

Gautam Gamhir made a quick-fire 25 and former skipper Rahul Dravid is unbeaten on 21, with Ishant Sharma yet to score as night-watchman (Australia 7/2 to win World Cup).

Despite the loss of the entertaining opener, Harbhajan believes that India are in a decent position with a strong batting line-up.

“We might have lost Sehwag at the top, but there is still a lot of batting to come,” he said. “Our focus will be to get past their total and look for some reverse-swing and spin in the last two days of the match.”

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