Sudeshna Guha Roy/Zeecric Bureau
Bangalore: It was an eventful day for India as a mammoth 308-run partnership between Sachin Tendulkar and Murali Vijay helped India post 435/5 at the end of the third day of the second Test against Australia here at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Monday.
Sachin displayed tremendous grit throughout the day as he remained unbeaten on 191, with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (11 not out) coming to his aide towards the end.
Resuming the day from their overnight score of 128/2, Sachin wasted no time as boundaries started flowing from his bat the moment he stepped onto the field. Together, Sachin and Vijay played the innings of a lifetime and frustrated the Australian bowlers to the limit.
Both the batsmen gave India the much needed stability in the first two-sessions, especially after they lost Virender Sehwag (30) and Rahul Dravid (1) earlier in the innings at the end of day 2.
The partnership would have been broken in the first session had Murali not been that lucky. He almost threw his wicket away in a desperate attempt to grab a single, but misfielding by Nathan Hauritz saved him from being run-out.
The life-line proved costly for the Aussies as both, Sachin and Murali, later went on to add a lot of weight to their team’s score.
Boundaries being a regular feature in his batting, Sachin smashed two consecutive sixes off Nathan Hauritz’s delivery to claim his 49th century in style. His hundred came in just 157 balls, soon after which, India went for lunch at 224/2.
The post lunch session saw Murali’s strong determination to reach to his maiden Test hundred. His journey was, however, slower than Sachin’s as he touched the milestone off 234 balls.
But thanks to the steady partnership, India crossed the 300-run mark with much ease, thus, dominating the first two sessions and going for tea at 314/2.
Some success came Australia’s way only in the last session when Mitchell Johnson successfully broke the ever-growing Sachin-Murali partnership and had the latter caught by Tim Paine, thus, grabbing a much needed wicket for his team.
Nevertheless, it was a dream innings for Murali who slammed his first Test century, which came with the help of 14 boundaries and a couple of sixes.
Murali’s departure led to all eye-balls focusing on debutant Cheteshwar Pujara. But disappointing as it was, Pujara had a very short stay at the pitch. This time again, it was Johnson who played the spoilsport and caught Pujara plumb in-front of the wickets off the third ball he faced for mere 4 runs, which were earned through a first-ball boundary.
Meanwhile, Sachin Tendulkar continued to reach one milestone after another, as after achieving the Herculean feat of 14,000 runs on Sunday and slamming his 49th century, the Master Blaster went on to claim the record of most number of 150+ runs in Tests.
With his 150+ score here at Bangalore, Sachin is placed at the top with 20 of them now.
After Pujara’s very short stay at the crease, Raina came down to help Sachin in his feat to help India close in the gap between their and Australia’s first innings total of 478. But he too did not last long and gave up his wicket for 32 runs.
Finally, with Dhoni’s help, Sachin went on to close the day’s play with India’s scorecard reading 435/5. As India trail by 43 runs, Sachin will look forward to claim a double-ton when the match enters the fourth day on Tuesday.