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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Tendulkar passes 14k Test runs and overshadows North century & Australia's 428: T2D2

India 2/128 (34.2 ov, S Tendulkar 48*, M Vijay 44*) trail Australia 478 (141 ov, M North 128, R Ponting 77, T Paine 59, S Watson 57, Harbhajan Singh 4/148) by 350 runs with 8 1st inns wickets in hand: T2D2 at Bangalore.

Marcus North and Tim Paine saw Australia to a comfortable total, which India, after losing Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid early, made look less comfortable. For Australian supporters the highlight of the day was North's welcome return to form, yet for many of the large local crowd present it was Sachin Tendulkar passing the 14,000 Test runs milestone: the first to do so.

For the second day running Australia batted through the opening session without losing a wicket. North solidly fluent and Paine, generally solid but with a slice or two of luck (he was caught behind off a no-ball from an atrocious shot), added 99 from a slowly delivered 24.1 overs before the interval. In the second session they took their partnership to 149 and the total to 405 before Paine was stumped off Pragyan Ojha for 59/133b (8x4).

The Indian spinners persisted and worked their way through the tail. North hit out and was caught in the deep for 128/240b (1x6, 17x4): the others followed soon after. 478 looked an OK total, especially after the early innings wobbles.

Sehwag began with his customary pizzazz but he played a cameo when a longer innings was needed. He was caught in the deep off Ben Hilfenhaus for 30/28b (1x6, 4x4) and was soon followed by Dravid, caught off Mitchell Johnson for 1.

Murali Vijay and Tendulkar have so far added 90 for the third wicket. Sachin has batted well for his 48*/88 (6x4) but he obviously needs to add many more. The Australian attack looked a bit threadbare: debutant Peter George sprayed the ball round more than a bit, while Nathan Hauritz, despite bowling some good balls, didn't trouble the batters much.

Are, I wonder, India prepared, after only two days, to settle for a draw?


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