India v Australia, 3rd Test, Mohali, 2nd day March 15, 2013

Jadeja happy to be Clarke's bane

In his five innings in India on this tour, Michael Clarke has been dismissed by Ravindra Jadeja four times. His scores in those dismissals have gone from 130 to 91, 16 to a first-ball duck in Mohali.

It is, in any batsman-bowler combination, the beginning of the 'bunny' syndrome. When Jadeja was asked if he was trying to make Australia's best batsman his bunny, he laughed, "Abhi toh waise hi ho raha hai (That's what's happening at the moment)."

Three times, Clarke has been beaten by the ball turning away from the face of his bat. In Chennai, he charged out and ended up miscuing one to long-off. In Hyderabad, he defended with poise only to find the ball whizzing past his eyeline and knocking the top of off. In Mohali, Clarke walked in at a time loaded with significance. Australia have faced a few hairy days - four players were axed from the Test due to disciplinary reasons, the side's best opening partnership of the tour had just been broken and Clarke had moved himself two spots up the order to come in at No. 3.

Off his first ball, Clarke once again charged out to Jadeja. Then he watched mortified as the ball spun past the bat and headed into Dhoni's gloves for a simple stumping. Australia could only stutter through the rest of the day. Jadeja said of his nemesis status against Clarke: "It's not that I only want to get him out. But luckily when I'm bowling he's coming to bat." He said getting Clarke four times "feels good" because Australia are heavily dependent on his form. "So it's very important to get him out as soon as possible."

The failure to take a wicket in the first session did not affect India's morale, Jadeja said, because they had tried to keep the runs down - Australia scored 109 in 35 overs. "We were waiting to get a wicket or two. We wanted to bowl where we had planned. We knew that if we gave them too many runs, they'd be able to score more comfortably. In the first session, we didn't give too many runs; we didn't get wickets, but that we covered in the last two sessions."

Jadeja said India's chances of getting a result from this Test depend on how the first half of the third day's play would go. "We'll try to get the three wickets early tomorrow, and then bat well and see the situation over the next two days."

The Mohali pitch, Jadeja said, didn't turn as much it had on day one in Hyderabad or Chennai. "It was a good wicket for the first day, good for batting too."

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

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