AUSTRALIA'S much-maligned spin attack hit back in stunning fashion yesterday but India was still in an unassailable position at tea on the third day of the second Test in Hyderabad last night.
Raw tweaker Glenn Maxwell (4-127), in his Test debut, and Xavier Doherty (3-131) put the brakes on the runaway Indian steam train which came to a halt at 503 in its first innings in reply to Australia's first day tally (9-237 declared).
The tourists, trailing by 266 runs and staring down the barrel of a 2-0 series deficit, faced an uphill battle just to make India bat again.
After a disastrous day two that yielded just one wicket for Australia's bowlers, yesterday proved far more fruitful.
Opening batsmen Murali Vijay was the first to go, caught at leg slip by Ed Cowan off the bowling of Maxwell for 167, giving the Victorian off-spinner his first Test wicket and bringing Sachin Tendulkar to the crease.
Pace bowler James Pattinson (2-80) then picked up his first wicket of the innings, having Cheteshwar Pujara caught hooking for a masterly 204, the second double century of his 11-Test career.
India went to lunch well in control at 3-400 but Pattinson spoiled the party for the home fans when he had Tendulkar caught behind down the leg-side for just seven shortly after the resumption.
Australia's unfashionable spin twins then grabbed their share of the spotlight in the second session.
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