Skipper Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting hit double-centuries as Australia built an imposing first innings total in the fourth Test against India on Wednesday.


Clarke scored 210 and Ponting 221 as Australia edged towards 600 to keep the beleaguered Indians in the field for more 10 hours in sweltering conditions at Adelaide Oval.


Their 386-run stand easily bettered their own fourth wicket partnership record of 288 set in the second Sydney Test of the series.


It also eclipsed the highest overall partnership at Adelaide Oval of 341 made by South Africans Eddie Barlow and Graeme Pollock in 1964.


But it fell just two runs short of the highest Australian fourth wicket partnership set by Don Bradman and Bill Ponsford against England in Leeds in 1934.


At tea, Australia were 569 for seven with Brad Haddin on 23 and Ryan Harris not out 19.


Clarke, who scored an unbeaten 329 in the Sydney Test, was out on the third ball after lunch bowled by Umesh Yadav ending his 380-minute and 275-ball vigil with 26 fours and one six.


So far in this series Clarke has amassed 589 runs at 147.25 with Ponting following up his 134 in Sydney to have 484 runs at 96.80.


There was more joy for India in the middle session, capturing four Australian wickets to give them hope of wrapping up the host's innings.


Ponting, dropped by V.V.S. Laxman on 215, was finally out 21 runs short of his highest score at Adelaide when he was caught in the deep by Sachin Tendulkar off Zaheer Khan.


The former Test skipper was at the crease for 516 minutes and faced 404 balls with 21 fours.


Mike Hussey was run out by a slick piece of close-in fielding by Gautam Gambhir for 25 and Peter Siddle became wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha's first catch in Test cricket off Ravi Ashwin for two.


The Indians are facing a 4-0 series wipeout in the final Test after heavy losses in the opening three Tests. (AFP)