Tendulkar turns on the styleZac Gelman |
An intriguing day of Test cricket saw Sachin Tendulkar notch up his 39th Test century at the fourth Test against Australia in Adelaide.
On a flat pitch, India won the vital toss and elected to bat. A streaky Virender Sehwag frustrated the Australian bowlers and slips cordon all morning and much like his Perth heroics, Sehwag took his chances and rode his luck. He recorded his 13th Test half century before edging Brett Lee on 61 to Matthew Hayden waiting at first slip.
Earlier in the morning, the home side were able to get promoted opener, Irfan Pathan, out on nine when Pathan, replacing Wasim Jaffer at the top of the order was not able to replicate his Perth form with the bat, edging Johnson to Gilchrist for nine.
Dravid stood his ground, refusing to budge, but after 54 deliveries an on-fire Mitchell Johnson proved too much for the veteran batsman as Dravid, like the other two Indian batsman who departed that morning, he edged the ball to second slip and was on his way for 18.
Ganguly only managed seven before being given out LBW to Hogg whilst attempting to sweep and Laxman put on a fine 51 before failing to get his gloves away from a Brett Lee bouncer, but the day belonged to Sachin Tendulkar.
The Little Master showed great application and powers of concentration as he built up the Indian score and advanced their innings perfectly.
Australia had no answers for the genius batsmen and when he unleashed on a unsuspecting Hogg for a brutal six, the crowd went wild. The unleashing wasn’t representative of his innings however, this was a controlled and calm knock that came at the right circumstances to counter the Australian aggression. He was all that stood between a still reeling Australia and their well-publicised revenge plans.
Unlike recent times, there were no nervous 90s for champion batsman as he raced through them with a six and a four off Michael Clarke to record yet another high-class ton in what has been in amazing career to date. The hundred came off 135 balls and included nine fours and three sixes, putting India just a touch ahead of Australia with 5-309 at stumps.
The Australian bowlers did their best, Lee and Johnson in particular, but they had everything go against them, including an unresponsive pitch and poor fielding errors from the home side. Both Gilchrist and Hayden put down straight forward catches that had the bowlers furiously shaking their heads.
The game is still very much in the balance though, a few quick wickets from Australia tomorrow and they will be right back on top, however India also have a golden opportunity to pile on some quick runs and really put an Australian side with everything to lose on the back foot.
Sachin Tendulkar 124, Virender Sehwag 63, VVS Laxman 51
Brett Lee 2-62, Mitchell Johnson 2-72