Sachin Tendulkar was dismissed in the last over of the day, falling short of his elusive 100th international century but giving India a strong start to it first innings on Tuesday’s second day of the first test against Australia.
Peter Siddle bowled Tendulkar for 73 to leave India on 214-3 at stumps in reply to Australia’s first-innings 333.The wicket ended a 117-run partnership between Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid for the third wicket.
The Melbourne Cricket Ground crowd of over 50,000 rose to their feet as Tendulkar walked from the ground after a fluent innings that put India on top in the opening test.
The 38-year-old Tendulkar rarely looked troubled by the Australian bowling attack as he reached his 50 off 55 balls with six boundaries and a six, yet was finally beaten by a fine ball from Siddle which swung back between bat and pad.
Dravid scored a cautious, but nonetheless impressive, half century off 137 balls and will resume the third day on 68 stumps with night watchman Ishant Sharma yet to score.
Dravid received a reprieve while on 67 when he was bowled by Peter Siddle (1-53), only for umpire Marias Erasmus rule him not out due to a no ball.
Dravid and Virender Sewhag had set up a strong platform for the India innings with a 75-run partnership after opener Gautam Gambhir (3) went early, playing an ill-judged shot outside off stump and being caught by Brad Haddin off the bowling of Ben Hilfenhaus (1-50).
Sehwag played aggressively against a tight Australian bowling attack. He was dropped by Mike Hussey in the gully while on 11, hit a lofted shot which mid-on David Warner just failed to reach as he brought up his half century, and was given another life on 58 when he edged a James Pattinson ball that Haddin couldn’t glove.
He finally went when he dragged a Pattinson (1-35) ball onto his stumps.
Australia resumed on day two at 277-6 and the tailenders managed to eke out another 55 runs despite overnight batsmen Haddin and Siddle falling early.
Haddin (27) added just six runs to his overnight score before edging a Zaheer Khan ball to Sehwag in the gully. His wicket ended a dangerous 72-run, seventh-wicket stand with Siddle that saw off the new ball late Monday and steadied the Australian innings after a middle-order collapse.
Siddle went soon after, caught behind off the bowling of Khan for an important 41.
Hilfenhaus made 19 with three boundaries before lofting a Ravichandran Ashwin delivery to the waiting hands of Virat Kohli at long-on.
Lyon was bowled around the legs by fellow-spinner Ashwin for 6 to end Australia’s innings.
Australia opener and top-scorer Ed Cowan was replaced by substitute fielder Dan Christian for most of the day while he received treatment for a sore back.
Despite overnight showers, the MCG was bathed in sunshine Tuesday, which combined with a strong breeze to offer a firmer, batting-friendly wicket.