The second day of the first cricket test match between India and Australia, has seen, India’s batting great, Sachin Tendulkar, play a near blemish-less knock in front of a capacity crowd at MCG. Eventhough, Tendulkar got out in the dying stages of the day’s proceedings, he gave a solid account of vintage Tendulkar, that Aussie crowds have been so used to see for all these years.
India ended the day at 214 for 3, when Tendulkar once again walked into his shell, as he tried to play for the day. Credit must be given to Peter Siddle for running in hard and bowling aggressively, He bowled a nagging line and produce one that jagged back from good length and hit the top of the off-stump of Tendulkar. It was indeed a peach of a delivery, any pacer would love to bowl all day long. Tendulkar, however, looked so fluent and got runs at a fair clip until he was dismissed. He got behind the line of the ball, played late, allowing the ball to swing and clipped it to the onside to the joy of millions of his fans. By far, he looked the most comfortable of the Indian batsmen and looked set for a century on a difficult Melbourne track. He got into the position ever so quickly and picked up the length early. Even at 38, he shows the world, why he is regarded as the best in the world.
At the other end, things have not been so rosy for India, as the Indian openers were beaten repeatedly by the disciplined oz bowlers. Gambhir was caught behind, poking at a delivery that seamed away, while Sehwag, though got a half century, lived ever so dangerously. He rode his luck, but smashed the bowlers, whenever there was width on offer. He was finally bowled by James Pattinson, Australia’s latest pace bowling sensation. Pattinson, bowled exceedingly well but without much luck. He could have got a couple of wickets, if not more. Rahul Dravid too got a half-century, but has not been at his convincing best. He was beaten on a number of occasions and was even bowled off a Siddle’s beauty that was later ruled out as a no-ball. Dravid thus escaped not out but never looked as assuring as Tendulkar. The pacy, bouncy tracks of Australia, demand the best of technique from a batsman and sadly no Indian batsman, with the exception of Tendulkar could display it.
Earlier, Indian bowlers, let Aussies off the hook, after having them on the mat for most part of the first day. They missed a great opportunity to shut out Aussies below 250 and allowed them to get out of jail. Australians escaped from being 214-6 to 333 all out. Their tail wagged and the last four wickets have added 119 runs. However, the day will be remembered for Tendulkar’s exploits and his calming assurance on Indian ranks. Though, dismissed in his 70’s, he is in magical touch. If the maestro, continues his rich vein of form, he is bound to leave an indelible mark on what could be last test series, down under.
image courtesy: espncricinfo.com