Sachin Tendulkar was sensationally bowled with three balls left on the second day of the first Test against Australia to be denied a crack at his 100th international century, as India finished on 214 for three in response to the hosts’ 333.
Test cricket’s highest run-scorer looked poised to stay unbeaten at stumps but was bowled by fast-bowler Peter Siddle for 73. Rahul Dravid was unbeaten on 68, scored off 185 deliveries, after getting a reprieve on 65 when he was bowled off a Siddle no-ball.
Tendulkar in fine touch
Tendulkar faced just 98 balls and hit eight fours and a six in a 117-run stand with Dravid for the third wicket. Australia vice-captain Brad Haddin was happy at Siddle’s effort of getting rid of the maestro just before the close.
“Siddle showed character to get Tendulkar late in the day when he was looking good so it was a big effort to dismiss him,” said Haddin. “It was a big blow for us.”
Tendulkar played some signature cover drives and an audacious upper cut over slips for six off Siddle’s first ball after tea as off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin felt that India would have to rebuild again after the maestro’s dismissal.
“That one wicket means we’ll have to rebuild before the second new ball, it’s going to be an interesting contest,” he said. “We have to put our heads down and bat well.”
Tough times for Australia
Earlier, there were few high points for Australia on a back-breaking day other than the wickets of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir.
Fast-bowler James Pattinson bowled Sehwag in the penultimate over before tea to bring Tendulkar to the crease, greeted by a standing ovation from the 53,000-strong crowd. Sehwag was dropped three times on his way to a brisk 67 off 83 balls with seven fours in his 75-run stand with Dravid. He had his first let-off on 11 when he was dropped by Michael Hussey off Pattinson.
Sehwag continued to live dangerously and was put down in a difficult diving chance by David Warner at long on. Seven runs later Haddin hashed a one-gloved diving effort off Pattinson. Gambhir was surprised by Ben Hilfenhaus’ extra pace and bounce and edged to Haddin for three.
Earlier, the Australia tail added 56 for the last four wickets. Haddin lasted only 10 minutes before he was dismissed by Zaheer Khan for 27. The left-armer was also able to get rid of Siddle for 41, finishing the best of India’s bowlers with four for 77. Umesh Yadav and Ashwin claimed three wickets each as India hope to pile on more runs on the third day.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 28th, 2011.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ