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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Indian batting suffers from Post-Tendulkar Stress Disorder as balance swings : T2D4

Australia 478 & 7/202 (65 ov, R Ponting 72) lead India 495 (114.5 ov, S Tendulkar 214, M Vijay 139) by 185 runs with 3 second innings wickets in hand: T2D4 at Bangalore.

Given their plight at the start of play Australia did very well to get back into the match by taking the last 5 Indian wickets for 9 runs, though once again inconsistent batting against good bowling on a pitch which was starting to show its age diminished their advantage.

First Sachin Tendulkar. After a near death experience on 199 he took the 200 which was there for the taking but, perhaps not surprisingly as this was the third day he'd been batting, he didn't go far beyond that milestone. At 214 he dragged one from Peter George onto his stumps.

214/363b (2x6, 22x4)
pretty much speaks for itself but if you'd watched the innings develop you'd have appreciated that this was a master batting.

6/486 became 10/495 as the Indian tail didn't wag and some Australian bowlers, notably Nathan Hauritz who added 2/0 to his overnight 0/153, improved their figures. A pity that Ben Hilfenhaus wasn't among them: 1/77 (from 31 overs) was a poor reward for his persistence.

As now seems to be their custom Shane Watson and Simon Katich opened with a good stand, though both were out at 58 as the Indian spinners started to take control. Over everyone except Ricky Ponting that is.

Ponting's 72/117b (1x6, 7x4) was, with all due respect to Tendulkar (who'd played the innings of the match) , the innings of the day. In what might well turn out to be his last Test innings in India he took the game right up to the bowlers. Neither Harbhajan Singh nor Pragyan Ojha and it was Zaheer Khan who eventually dismissed him lbw.

But Australia was, at 6/181, only 160 ahead. Tim Paine who'd batted quite well for 23 followed at 185 leaving Mitchell Johnson and Hauritz to hold the fort until stumps.

Even though the wicket isn't easy to bat on a lead of 185 isn't, given the respective strengths of India's batting and Australia's bowling, enough. 220- perhaps- and 250 - better still- might be enough for the visitors to effect a remarkable turnaround.



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