Australia move to drivers' position against Sri Lanka
Shot selection by the Australian batsmen on day two of the second Test was at times no better than their opponents' had been on the previous day. However, their indiscretions were far less frequent than the Sri Lankans, and far less hurtful to the team's cause.
Good batting from Watson helps Australia
Captain Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, Matthew Wade and Michael Hussey all fell to bowling that would have struggled to be threatening in a grade match, yet alone at the highest level of the game. Wicket-keeper Wade, was the only one of the quartet, however, who was dismissed before he had made a useful contribution to the side's total.
At the close of play, with still three wickets to fall, Australia already lead by 284 runs, as they took advantage of every missed chance by the tourists. Sri Lanka's already painfully weak bowling attack was weakened still further by the loss of left-arm paceman Chanaka Welegedara as a result of a hamstring strain, they further exasperated their chances of fighting back into the Test match by missing a stumping chance of Clarke and a catch offered by Watson before the lunch interval.
Clarke who has done little wrong since taking over the captaincy from Ricky Ponting, made the most of the missed chance and completed his fifth century of 2012, his first at the MCG in a Test match, which also made him the new record holder for Test runs scored by an Australian in a calendar year, a record also held by Ponting. Watson also took advantage, and registered his highest Test score in a home Test for over two years.
Watson will be frustrated to once again fall just short of a century, failing to add to his paltry tally of two Test match centuries, while Clarke for once, didn't add more than a handful of runs after he reached three figures, as the Australians lost three wickets for the addition of just four runs in mid-afternoon.
The crowd of nearly 40,000 were treated to a cameo from Hussey and a highly effective contribution of 73 by Mitchell Johnson, which is his eighth half century in Test matches, which ensured that the hosts retained control of the Test.