Match report: Ind vs Aus – 1st Test, Day 2
India were trailing by 198 runs with six wickets in hand at the end of Day 2 in the first Test of the four-match series for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. After Michael Clarke guided Australia to 380 in the first innings, James Pattinson gave the visitors early breakthroughs and claimed the key wicket of Cheteshwar Pujara to put the visitors in an advantageous position. But master batsman Sachin Tendulkar anchored the Indian innings and kept the hosts in the hunt with valuable partnerships with Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli. At stumps, India’s No.4 bat was batting on 71 with Virat Kohli (50*).
The Australian pacers hit the deck hard from the word go and Pattinson was duly rewarded with the wickets of the Indian openers. After sneaking the ball through Murali Vijay’s bat and pad, he dislodged Virender Sehwag’s bails to leave the home team on 12 for two. But Sachin Tendulkar then sent the pacer racing through covers to get off the mark with a boundary and followed it up with two more in the same over. With Cheteshwar Pujara at the other end, the veteran batsmen set about the task of helping India recover from the early losses. The two negotiated the opposition attack with ease to add 72 runs before tea.
Both batsmen looked in good nick as they took India across the three-figure mark in the last session. But Pattinson then knocked back Pujara’s middle-stump to send back the No.3 bat for 44 and give the visitors a crucial breakthrough. Virat Kohli then joined Tendulkar, who soon reached his fifty with a single off Nathan Lyon.
With young Kohli at the other end, Tendulkar continued to shape the innings. The duo played watchfully, collected singles and twos and occasional boundaries to keep the momentum going. Playing a careful knock, Kohli inched towards his half-century and was the dominant partner in the partnership, while Tendulkar dropped anchor and held up the other end. The No.5 bat brought up his 50 with a single in the last over of the day. The duo played patient knocks to take India to 182 for three when play ended.
Earlier, Clarke and Peter Siddle added 45 runs to the overnight Australian total of 316, before the hosts halted the partnership. The Australian skipper, got another life today; let off by Pujara at silly point while on 128. He added only two more runs before holing out to Bhuvneshwar Kumar off Ravindra Jadeja. But before walking back, he posted the highest score by an Australian captain in India (previous best was Ricky Ponting’s 123 in 2008).
Harbhajan Singh then claimed Siddle. The lower-order bat edged the delivery to Virender Sehwag in the slips to depart for 19. The Australian tail frustrated the Indian bowlers as they continued to chip away at the bowling to extend the innings. The last pair of James Pattinson and Nathan Lyon survived a few close calls, until finally a brilliant catch by Kohli at backward short-leg saw the back of Lyon. Ashwin finished the innings with 7/103, his best haul in Test cricket so far.
At the end of Day 2: Australia 1st innings 380 all out in 133 overs (M Clarke 130, R Ashwin 7/103); India 1st innings 182/3 in 52 overs (SR Tendulkar 71*, V Kohli 50*, C Pujara 44, J Pattinson 3/25)
At the end of Day 1: Australia 1st innings 316/7 in 95 overs (M Clarke 103*, M Henriques 68, D Warner 59, R Ashwin 6/88)