David Warner’s return from a groin injury in the third Test against India quickly became a week to forget after yielding the worst showing at home in his career.
Having contributed only five runs in the first innings at the SCG, the Australian opener was out for just 13 runs on Saturday.
Indian captain Ajinkya Rahane’s masterstroke to introduce spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in the 10th over paid off when Warner was trapped leg before wicket.
Warner reviewed the decision, hoping the ball was heading wide of the stumps, but two red lights were complemented by umpire’s call on height.
The dismissal meant his aggregate with the bat was 18 runs – the lowest when dismissed in both innings in his Test career on Australian soil.
In 2012 he was out for single figures without getting a second bat in an innings win over India and a rain-affected draw with South Africa.
On debut at the Gabba in 2011 he made three in the first innings and was 12 not out in the second when Australia chased down 19 runs to beat New Zealand by 10 wickets.
Despite falling to Ashwin on Saturday he did appear to be locked in more than on day one, when he lost his way after appearing to pull up sore with his groin troubles.
“(He’s looking) better,” former Australian Test representative Greg Blewett said on Channel 7.
“Better after his first probably 12 balls in the second innings, and he is starting to tick along nicely.”
Warner was dismissed by his Indian nemesis the very next ball.
“I’m glad you were asked the question,” ex-Test batsman Michael Slater told Blewett.
“I would have answered the same way. He was looking terrific.”
Warner’s dismissal brought Steve Smith to the crease with Australia sitting on 2-35, holding a 129-run lead.
Earlier, Will Pucovski was unable to repeat his impressive first-innings 62 and fell for 10 runs.
The 22-year-old was undone by what Australian great Ricky Ponting felt was a technical issue in the debutant’s technique.
“When players move back and across like they do, it is hard to keep your hips and your shoulders square,” he assessed on Channel 7.
“If your timing is slightly out, if you can get another look at that replay with Pucovski, (he) moves a long way back and across so leaves his hips and shoulders really open.
“If you don’t sync your movements up, your bat swings along the line of your shoulders and your hips, and you end up playing across the line of the ball.
“That was a perfectly straight ball angled in towards off stump. He has tried to defend that quite hard to mid-on. He has played across the line of the ball, which is why he nicked it.”