BANGALORE (Reuters) Captain Ricky Ponting top-scored with a resolute 77 as Australia recovered from a wobbly afternoon session to reach 285 for five on the opening day of the second and final test against India on Saturday. Australia, 1-0 down in the series, appeared to have squandered a perfect start when they lost three wickets for 33 runs after lunch. Ponting then featured in two half-century partnerships with Mike Hussey (34) and Marcus North before the skipper fell in the 76th over.North was unbeaten on 43 and Tim Paine eight not out when bad light stopped play for the day. Earlier, Pontings decision to bat first on a slow track was vindicated when the in-form Shane Watson (57) put on 99 for the first wicket with Simon Katich (43). Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh removed Katich in the first over after lunch and followed up by dismissing Michael Clarke for 14. In between, spin colleague Pragyan Ojha cut short Watsons stay when keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni collected an edge behind the stumps. Watson, who also scored 126 and 56 in the first test in Mohali, hit nine fours in a fluent knock. Ponting and Hussey overcame some early jitters to add 66 runs for the fourth wicket and rebuild the innings. Seamer Zaheer Khan had Hussey caught by Virender Sehwag but Ponting kept going until Suresh Raina trapped him leg before to end a 58-run fifth-wicket stand. SCOREBOARD AUSTRALIA, first innings: S Watson c Dhoni b Ojha 57 S Katich c Dravid b Singh 43 R Ponting lbw b Raina 77 M Clarke c Raina b Singh 14 M Hussey c Sehwag b Khan 34 M North not out 43 T Paine not out 8 EXTRAS: (lb-5, nb-4) 9 Total: (five wickets; 85.5 overs) 285 Fall of wickets: 1-99 2-113 3-132 4-198 5-256. BOWLING: Khan 13.5-1-61-1 Sreesanth 12-1-37-0 (1nb) Ojha 25-5-63-1 (2nb) Singh 26-0-100-2 Sehwag 4-1-7-0 (1nb) Raina 5-1-12-1.