Australia wins Boxing Day test
AUSTRALIA has claimed the first test in the series against India, beating the visitors by 122 runs in the Boxing Day test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
AUSTRALIA 333, 240
INDIA 282, 169
Australia win by 122 runs
India were in a weak position at 6/117 heading into the final session of the fourth day and the Australian attack went in for the kill, claiming the final four wickets for 52 runs.
Ravichandran Ashwin (30) and MS Dhoni (23) returned to the crease after the tea break, but Ashwin was soon back in the pavilion, caught by Ed Cowan off the bowling of Peter Siddle (3/42).
Zaheer Khan was dispatched for 13 runs by James Pattinson (4/53), before Dhoni - the last recognised batsman - departed.
Umesh Yadav (21)and Ishant Sharma (6 no) managed to withhold the inevitable for a period of time, but Yadav closed the Indian innings by holding out to Dave Warner in the deep.
Australia take a 1-0 lead into the rest of the four-game series.
The next match is at the Sydney Cricket Ground on the 3 January.
India suffer horror session
Australia has taken a stranglehold of the Boxing Day test as India's top-order collapsed in the session after lunch.
Beginning the session needing another 268 runs for victory, India crumpled under the pressure of the Australian attack, losing five wickets for 97 runs.
Australia's trio of pacemen - Ben Hilfenhaus, Peter Siddle and James Pattinson - combined to devastate the tourists.
Gautam Gambhir (13) was the first to fall, edging Siddle (2/40) to Ricky Ponting in the slips, closely followed by Rahul Dravid (10).
VVS Laxman (1) only lasted 14 balls before becoming Pattinson's (2/28) second victim, while Virat Kohli notched a golden duck, caught plumb in front by Hilfenhaus (2/32).
Sachin Tendulkar (32) offered some resistance, but Siddle had the little master flashing and Michael Hussey took the catch.
India need 175 runs for victory.
India lose Sehwag
India has lost big-hitting opener Virender Sehwag as it chases Australia's lead in the Boxing Day test.
Heading into the lunch break on the fourth day, the tourists were 1/24 with opener Gautam Gambhir (6 no) joined by Rahul Dravid (5 no).
Chasing 292 runs for victory, Gambhir and Sehwag took advantage of some inconsistent bowling form Australia's pace attack.
However, Sehwag - a known shot-maker - was tempted by an outside ball from Ben Hilfenhaus (1/4) and Michael Hussey snared the catch.
India will return after the break needing another 268 runs for victory.
Australia all out
Australia has been dismissed for 240 runs in its second innings in the Boxing Day test.
The home side began the day at 8/179 with under-fire batsman Michael Hussey (89) and James Pattinson (37no) looking to build the Australians lead.
But despite adding to his score, Hussey never looked comfortable at the crease, and was eventually sent back to pavilion after probing at a perfect Zaheer Khan (3/53) delivery.
Hoping to keep the chase total at a manageable score, India applied the pressure to the tail-enders.
But Pattinson and Ben Hilfenhaus (14) managed to add another 43 runs before Hilfenhaus finally fell.
India need 292 runs for victory.