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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Better day for India as Tendulkar shines: T1D2

India 3/182 (52ov, Tendulkar 71*, Kohli 50*, Pujara 44, Pattinson 3/25) trail Australia 380 (133ov, Clarke 130, Henriques 68, Warner 59, Ashwin 7/103) by 198 runs with 7 1st inns wickets in hand: T1/4 D2/5 at Chennai.

A good fight back by Sachin Tendulkar 71/128b (6x4) and Virat Kohli 50*/ 84b (7x4) kept India in the match after Australia had moved slowly from 7/316 to 380 all out. Michael Clarke's 130/246 b(1x6, 12x4) determinedly underpinned what looked to be a good score.

It looked even better when James Pattinson removed the India's openers, including a newly bespectacled Virender Sehwag, with only 12 on the board. Enter Tendulkar, who looked in prime form from the outset, and didn't in my opinion play a false stroke (though the umpire thought otherwise when he appeared not to play any stroke to Nathan Lyon and was deemed not lbw).

Apart from that Sachin led the chase in measured partnerships with Cheteshwar Pujara and Kohli . They made the bowling, Pattinson excepted, look just steady even though the pitch tended to keep low and, when the ball was delivered on a good length, took spin.

Tendulkar looks in ominously good form. I know he's done so on several occasions in the last couple of years yet hasn't gone on to post a really big score. India still have a long way to go but a first innings lead doesn't look beyond them, especially as the Australian attack has performed in the lower half of my expectations (and hopes).

But this is still shaping as a good Test, so I'll be glued to the couch again tomorrow.

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