NEW DELHI: Magnificent double centuries from Ricky Ponting and captain Michael Clarke enabled Australia to declare their first innings at 604/7 on the second day of the fourth and final Test against India at the Adelaide Oval in Adelaide on Wednesday.
Australia lost their seventh wicket when R Ashwin had Peter Siddle caught behind by Wriddhiman Saha.
Zaheer Khan had Ricky Ponting (221) caught by Sachin Tendulkar at deep mid-wicket.
It was ironical that Ponting fell to the pull shot that he played so well during this knock and throughout his career. Ponting pulled a short delivery, got the power right but the elevation lacked, as it went straight to Tendulkar at deep mid-wicket at a scorching pace. It was a good catch as the ball went like a bullet.
Ponting hit 21 fours in his great knock.
Gautam Gambhir ran out Michael Hussey with a direct hit after Australia crossed the 500-run mark.
Hussey played a R Ashwin delivery through the off side and set off for a single, but Gambhir at silly point got the ball with his outstretched right hand and hit the stumps before Hussey could turn and get into the crease.
Ricky Ponting reached his sixth double century soon after Umesh Yadav dismissed Michael Clarke after lunch.
This is Ponting's sixth double century and third against India.
India finally tasted success as Clarke was cleaned up by Yadav. Clarke got struck on the crease as he looked to whip it away on the leg side. The ball nipped back in hint and crashed onto Clarke's stumps.
Clarke hit a six and 26 fours in his magnificent knock.
Australia were 469/3 at lunch. Clarke's quickfire double ton came in 255 balls that included 25 fours and one six.
The fourth-wicket stand between Ponting and Clarke is now the best for Tests between these two nations as the duo went past the partnership of 376 runs produced by Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman in the 2001 Eden Gardens Test.
The duo of Clarke and Ponting, who have now scored more than 600 runs in this series, stitched a 386-run partnership for the fourth wicket. The marathon 350-run stand between the duo came in 515 balls.
Clarke and Ponting got off the blocks very quickly as both of them crossed 150-run mark after hitting some fine boundaries early on Day 2.
Clarke's 150 came off in 193 balls with the help of 21 fours and one six while Ponting reached 150 in 274 deliveries that included 16 boundaries.
Earlier on Day 1, the old firm of Ponting and Clarke put India's hapless bowlers to the sword with contrasting centuries as Australia took command of the fourth Test.
Ponting (137) and Clarke (140), both of whom tormented India in the second Test in Sydney with centuries, joined hands once again for an unbroken 251-run fourth wicket stand which took the hosts to a comfortable 335/3 after a shaky start on Tuesday.
Australia have already clinched the series with a 3-0 lead and India are desperately hoping to avoid a whitewash. The effort was not all that bad to start with as India struck two blows inside the first 10 overs after the hosts opted to bat first.
Zaheer Khan removed David Warner (8) with a delivery which came in and Ravichandran Ashwin, surprisingly introduced as early as in the fourth over, bowled a delivery which came in with the arm and clipped the off-stump of an out of form Shaun Marsh's (3) hesitant forward prod.
Ashwin snared another victim before the lunch-break, opener Ed Cowan (30) driving little uppishly into short covers and VVS Laxman snapped a brilliant low catch.
Ponting smashed the 41st century of his 162-Test career, his eighth against India which put him at par with Sir Garfield Sobers and Sir Vivian Richards as the batsmen who has scored maximum tons against the sub-continental team.
It is also his 23rd century at home which is one more than what Sachin Tendulkar and Jacques Kallis have scored in their glittering careers. During his knock, he also crossed the 13,000 run landmark.
For Clarke, this was his 19th century in his 80th Test, his second of the series after a mammoth 329 at the SCG early this month.