Australia v India, 1st Test, MCG, 2nd day December 27, 2011

Tendulkar's promise of a glorious summer

Sachin Tendulkar batted with fluency and control to help India break the trend of batting failures that had blighted their start to overseas tours in recent times
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Just before tea on day two of the Boxing Day Test at the MCG. James Pattinson and Ben Hilfenhaus had bowled with serious pace and menace. Pattinson in particular. Rahul Dravid had struggled, but he had hung on. Virender Sehwag had sizzled, but he had been bowled. Every head at the stadium, all 52,858 of them, plus the others working on the match, turned towards the change rooms. There was a delay of about 30 seconds before they saw Sachin Tendulkar, and gave him a reception to rival Ricky Ponting's.

The second ball Tendulkar faced he inside-edged. Safe. A sigh. Michael Clarke brought on Michael Hussey to bowl the last over before the break. Tendulkar was playing to block out this over, and Hussey's slow-mediums could be dangerous. He has a history with those. He bat-padded, but it didn't carry to a fielder. Another sigh. The MCG was abuzz. Australia could sense they were back into this one. Dravid had not been at his best; he was just clinging on. Tendulkar had made an iffy start. India were still 214 behind.

Many times before this, sides have come back immediately after a Sehwag dismissal. It's just the change of tempo that is huge, which leaves an opening for bowling sides. India needed somebody to take charge of the situation. The tea break arrived at the right time. Twenty minutes later, Clarke went to home boy Peter Siddle. The first ball was a bouncer, over the stumps. Tendulkar arched back, for there was no room. He had to use the wrists to make up for the lack of room. He did. And he guided it over slip.

If this were a cricket documentary, I would tell you the rest of the story - at least a major part of it - through an almost fast-forward video of one shot merging into another: another cut behind square, a drive on a bent knee, an on-the-up drive through extra cover, a punch straight down the ground, a glance off the pads, a slog-sweep placed expertly in front of deep backward square, another upper-cut for four.

It all happened that fast. Yet it wasn't an awe-inspiring Sehwag fast. You could savour this. Usually when batsmen score this fast in a Test - he was 54 off 62 at one stage - the bowler's faces tell a story. Here the story was happening at the batsman's end. There was the class, there was the innovation. There was the high elbow, there was the arched back. There was the glorious sun that wouldn't set till quarter to nine. During that period it seemed he couldn't find fielders even if he tried to.

India had well and truly taken charge. Dravid was allowed the space to struggle, and hasn't he earned it after a fabulous year? Test cricket, though, doesn't go at the same pace all the time. Clarke finally found some control on proceedings through Lyon, David Warner and deeper fields. Tendulkar settled down too. Not in a playing-for-stumps sort of way, but in a long-innings sort of way. The singles were on offer; he kept taking them.

Inevitably the talk of the hundredth hundred reached fever pitch. Not that there hasn't been talk. There has been talk all through the year. There has been talk it plays on his mind. However, if you had been deprived of cricket all year long and if you were dropped in at the MCG today, you wouldn't have guessed the man had scored 99 international hundreds, had been stuck there for nine months, had been out in 90s twice, and came from a country that could think of little else.

Tendulkar here was setting the tone for the summer; if the hundredth was on his mind, it didn't show. India's last four tours have all begun with batting failures; he was trying to make sure this one wasn't going to. He knew Dravid was having an off day, and it's only a few like Dravid who come out of such off days unconquered, but if Tendulkar hadn't scored that fast from the other end Australia could have cornered India.

Tendulkar fell to a superb spell of bowling, when two Victorians, Peter Siddle and Pattinson, chugged in for another spell of testing fast deliveries in front of their home crowd, just before stumps. He left India needing another brief period of recovery if they needed to take full control. That was the imperfection in an otherwise perfect innings. But four years after every Australian ground had bid him farewell, he also made us a promise of another glorious summer.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • narahamanithan on December 30, 2011, 6:07 GMT

    @riteshabbi:Why are you thinking that ,Sachin should score his hundredth hundred.....See it is not a matter for Sachin tendulkar .For Sachin,his thought is always to help his team to go high...He never thought of scoring hundreds of hundred.He is playing well and executing that it to hundreds and sometimes it will be missing...One day that hundred will come on right time at right situation.....

  • riteshabbi on December 28, 2011, 7:33 GMT

    The hundredth hundred be damned!! I do not mind as long as Sachin keeps playing like this!! Wouldn't it be great if he scores hundred fifties?? He looks in sublime touch and it took a peach of a delivery to get rid of him!!

    Carry on Tendulkar and once again the hundredth hundred be damned!!

  • CricFan24 on December 28, 2011, 2:01 GMT

    @Mohammad Hoque. One of the best comments I have ever read on cricinfo. A batsman like Sachin comes along maybe once every 100 years. We are indeed a priveledged lot.

  • on December 28, 2011, 1:07 GMT

    What non sense, glorious summer and all that. All that he's looking for is his 100th ton. This is another disastrous tour for India, another white wash on the cards. Let's see what's the excuse from Dhoni this time

  • on December 28, 2011, 0:19 GMT

    How people say Sachin is not a great batsman. I mean you can't find another Indian who can be compared to Sachin. People say rahul dravid is this, Sehwag is this. Look at their carreer and see who they scored their runs. Sachin Has proven again and again he is the best against any kind of bowling.

  • on December 28, 2011, 0:01 GMT

    Rahul Dravid is one of the greatest batsman in test cricket history. I don't want to say anything about sachin. Whatever i will say it is nothing comparing his talent. All the adjectives of the dictionary is replaced by Sachin. For sachin, the word genius is out of the question. We are privileged that we can still watch his game. I hope Sachin will make 100 century in the test series. I also deeply want Sachin would also play oneday series in Australia. If he would play oneday he would have very good chance to complete 50 century in oneday

  • on December 27, 2011, 23:24 GMT

    Excellent writeup by Sidharth Monga!

    I wish to quote Monga's description of Sachin Tendulkar's batting:" Tendulkar here was setting the tone for the summer; if the hundredth was on his mind, it didn't show. India's last four tours have all begun with batting failures; he was trying to make sure this one wasn't going to. He knew Dravid was having an off day. Iif Tendulkar hadn't scored that fast from the other end Australia could have cornered India."

    Tendulkar fell to a superb spell of bowling, when two Victorians, Peter Siddle and Pattinson, chugged in for another spell of testing fast deliveries in front of their home crowd, just before stumps. He left India needing another brief period of recovery if they needed to take full control. That was the imperfection in an otherwise perfect innings. But four years after every Australian ground had bid him farewell, he also made us a promise of another glorious summer.

  • cricket_vijay on December 27, 2011, 23:01 GMT

    Good article. Why are we saying Dravid was struggling? That is his style. He deliberately makes it look like he was beaten and the bowler keep bowling harder and harder and get tired :) I am waiting for Dravid's book after he retires in another 20 years. I am couple years older than Dravid and Sachin, if these two guys and VVS retires, I am going to retire from watching cricket..

  • satishsasikumar on December 27, 2011, 22:43 GMT

    Personally, I think Sachin is the complete batsman of the modern times and his innings yesterday showed his class..I hope the tons to come from his blade will certainly be a treat to watch (without shaky starts and half chances in between). Indians will realize the worth of Sachin, Rahul and Laxman after they retire. After reading some of the posts, cricket fans from other nationalities realize the worth of what we fortunately have in our team more than some overly critical Indians...

  • happycric on December 27, 2011, 22:35 GMT

    it was another fluent inning by tendulkar, unlike ponting or dravid who scored runs but struggled through out their first inning. i am happy dravid is still batting and i hope India will put a big total to put pressure on aussie. after shewag was out, frankly i thought india's run rate will slow down and match will turn boring as dravid would occupy most of the strike playing dot balls. dravid always impresses with his water tight defence however no matter what format of the game, it is boring to see dot balls. tendulkar's batting was fantastic and he looked out of this world. when a player like dravid had difficulty to take a single run, tendulkar was freely scoring 4s and 6s. that was magical.

  • narahamanithan on December 30, 2011, 6:07 GMT

    @riteshabbi:Why are you thinking that ,Sachin should score his hundredth hundred.....See it is not a matter for Sachin tendulkar .For Sachin,his thought is always to help his team to go high...He never thought of scoring hundreds of hundred.He is playing well and executing that it to hundreds and sometimes it will be missing...One day that hundred will come on right time at right situation.....

  • riteshabbi on December 28, 2011, 7:33 GMT

    The hundredth hundred be damned!! I do not mind as long as Sachin keeps playing like this!! Wouldn't it be great if he scores hundred fifties?? He looks in sublime touch and it took a peach of a delivery to get rid of him!!

    Carry on Tendulkar and once again the hundredth hundred be damned!!

  • CricFan24 on December 28, 2011, 2:01 GMT

    @Mohammad Hoque. One of the best comments I have ever read on cricinfo. A batsman like Sachin comes along maybe once every 100 years. We are indeed a priveledged lot.

  • on December 28, 2011, 1:07 GMT

    What non sense, glorious summer and all that. All that he's looking for is his 100th ton. This is another disastrous tour for India, another white wash on the cards. Let's see what's the excuse from Dhoni this time

  • on December 28, 2011, 0:19 GMT

    How people say Sachin is not a great batsman. I mean you can't find another Indian who can be compared to Sachin. People say rahul dravid is this, Sehwag is this. Look at their carreer and see who they scored their runs. Sachin Has proven again and again he is the best against any kind of bowling.

  • on December 28, 2011, 0:01 GMT

    Rahul Dravid is one of the greatest batsman in test cricket history. I don't want to say anything about sachin. Whatever i will say it is nothing comparing his talent. All the adjectives of the dictionary is replaced by Sachin. For sachin, the word genius is out of the question. We are privileged that we can still watch his game. I hope Sachin will make 100 century in the test series. I also deeply want Sachin would also play oneday series in Australia. If he would play oneday he would have very good chance to complete 50 century in oneday

  • on December 27, 2011, 23:24 GMT

    Excellent writeup by Sidharth Monga!

    I wish to quote Monga's description of Sachin Tendulkar's batting:" Tendulkar here was setting the tone for the summer; if the hundredth was on his mind, it didn't show. India's last four tours have all begun with batting failures; he was trying to make sure this one wasn't going to. He knew Dravid was having an off day. Iif Tendulkar hadn't scored that fast from the other end Australia could have cornered India."

    Tendulkar fell to a superb spell of bowling, when two Victorians, Peter Siddle and Pattinson, chugged in for another spell of testing fast deliveries in front of their home crowd, just before stumps. He left India needing another brief period of recovery if they needed to take full control. That was the imperfection in an otherwise perfect innings. But four years after every Australian ground had bid him farewell, he also made us a promise of another glorious summer.

  • cricket_vijay on December 27, 2011, 23:01 GMT

    Good article. Why are we saying Dravid was struggling? That is his style. He deliberately makes it look like he was beaten and the bowler keep bowling harder and harder and get tired :) I am waiting for Dravid's book after he retires in another 20 years. I am couple years older than Dravid and Sachin, if these two guys and VVS retires, I am going to retire from watching cricket..

  • satishsasikumar on December 27, 2011, 22:43 GMT

    Personally, I think Sachin is the complete batsman of the modern times and his innings yesterday showed his class..I hope the tons to come from his blade will certainly be a treat to watch (without shaky starts and half chances in between). Indians will realize the worth of Sachin, Rahul and Laxman after they retire. After reading some of the posts, cricket fans from other nationalities realize the worth of what we fortunately have in our team more than some overly critical Indians...

  • happycric on December 27, 2011, 22:35 GMT

    it was another fluent inning by tendulkar, unlike ponting or dravid who scored runs but struggled through out their first inning. i am happy dravid is still batting and i hope India will put a big total to put pressure on aussie. after shewag was out, frankly i thought india's run rate will slow down and match will turn boring as dravid would occupy most of the strike playing dot balls. dravid always impresses with his water tight defence however no matter what format of the game, it is boring to see dot balls. tendulkar's batting was fantastic and he looked out of this world. when a player like dravid had difficulty to take a single run, tendulkar was freely scoring 4s and 6s. that was magical.

  • Harmony111 on December 27, 2011, 22:30 GMT

    @nige5791:-

    Using 3rd umpire's slow motion replay to find if the bowler had over stepped is proven to be reliable. Using Ball Tracking and HotSpot is not proven to be reliable, this is why BCCI is against DRS. There have been issues with DRS in the past.

  • happycric on December 27, 2011, 22:29 GMT

    dear aussies, stop whinning about drs. i watched the match and there were two bad decisions that drs might have caught. 1st was hussey - in real time it looks out but ball did not touch the bat. 2nd haddin- he was plumb but given not out. stop whining about cowan because he was out, there was a deflection and sound however the hot spot did not spot it. that is the problem with the technology. the no ball review is solely dependent on the umpire if they have doubt and it is fair on umpire to refer third umpire for no ball or run out decision. that existing before drs. pls don't mix no-ball referral with drs.

  • on December 27, 2011, 22:02 GMT

    This will not only be a glorious summer for Sachin but the entire Indian team. Without a doubt they r stronger than the Aussies. We all know about their batting line up, but now they have a fine pacer in Yadav. This guy is quick & bowling alongside ZKhan & Sharma will only get better. Ashwin will trouble this Aussie line up. Yadav is as quick as any of the Aussies pacers. This is a potent attack.

  • gslams on December 27, 2011, 21:53 GMT

    Sachin was a treat to watch. Both teams played with zest to keep viewers interested in a test match. I saw some posts based on Dravid's fortune on how India has benefitted. Let us look at this from this angle, the umpire knew it was a no ball but had he called it such there was no going back even if it proved otherwise as there was no DRS. So aus actually benefitted because the umpire gave the benefit of doubt to the bowler by choosing to refer to a true and tested techology of video cameras. Regardless of who benefitted here it makes sense to use only those technologies that are mature enough enough to complement the skills of the umpire thereby increasing the accuracy of decisions not to supplement it thereby introducing its own set of uncertainties. This is what BCCI and India in general have been trying to convey while those folks who fail to comprehend this have gone about painting the issue with power/money brush becasue BCCI happens to have it.

  • on December 27, 2011, 21:53 GMT

    great knock by sachin, i never got a chance to see him bat when he was in his youth sadly but to see that today and still hear people say that he was even better in his youth, i mean i dont know maybe not true but if it is then i really did miss out. such beauty. and all credit to the Australians. That was/is a very difficult track to bat on with the deliveries coming off the seam and the surface at rapid speed. Pontings knock yesterday has been put into perspective. A more batsman friendly wicket and his wait for a hundred would have been ended. Channel 9 commentators speak utter rubbish at times. A very difficult wicket to bat on and both teams showing alot of fight. It'll go down to the wire. But what a match it will be.

  • Elango_Muthu on December 27, 2011, 21:35 GMT

    Fellow cricket lovers. Please, don't listen to this media comments and commentaries about DRS. From <nige5791> comment, we could realise how this media is affecting. For me the Umpire called for Third umpire to verify the line call because he want to make sure that it was a NO ball (In other words, he knew that it was a No ball).

    There is no question about availability of tech for one team and not for another.

    FOOD FOR THOUGHTS ...

    1. DRS in test cricket? Test cricket lover... 2. given that DRS is not 100% accurate. 3. correct decision improved by 3%. 4. still human judgement is invoved in using DRS. 5. only two correct refls.

  • on December 27, 2011, 21:24 GMT

    it was a feast to watch SRT playing his sublime shots with that beautiful straight drives and breath taking uppercuts..It was pure class and elegance.. And RD was as tough as he is always!! :)

  • Shan156 on December 27, 2011, 21:05 GMT

    @Aditya Anchuri, knee jerk reaction, don't you think? Last summer, Gambhir scored 3 consecutive half centuries against one of the best attacks in world cricket at the moment. He played well in the world cup and India may well have lost the final if not for his 97. He failed in England but he was unlucky with his injury and besides, he wasn't the only failure in that tour. He scored decently in the Windies series. The only thing eluding him for a while is a test ton. That should come very soon. Even Ponting hasn't got one in 32 innings. So, just wait a little while. Gambhir will come good. He is a class act. This is one of the best Indian teams in recent memory. The only weak link is Ishant Sharma's inconsistency and Virat Kohli's inexperience (at test level; he is a class act in ODIs). Ashwin has already showed that he belongs at this level.

  • on December 27, 2011, 20:46 GMT

    Sachin was absolutely awesome y'day-watching him bat was a real treat.He seemed to be in the 'zone' that marvellous players sometimes are lucky to enjoy.Really unfortunate that India's luck didn't extend to Sachin who got out to an unplayable delivery

  • nige5791 on December 27, 2011, 20:44 GMT

    Great innings by Sachin but please can we have fairness with the application of technology. Dravid was rightly given not out when Siddle overstepped but if the technology wasn't available it would not have been seen. The indians twice benefitted from bad decisions during the first innings to Cowan and Hussey because of no DRS. If the technology is there use it don't have this ridiculous situation where it is applied in one case but not in another. For the benefit of cricket we need to wrest away control of the ICC from the narrow self serving interest of the BCCI!

  • Punjin on December 27, 2011, 20:40 GMT

    I wonder if Sehwag was batting with Tendulkar instead of Dravid, would he be more aggressive and could have scored century? Dravid great player that he is, was tentative n defencive mostly and that may have effected. Last 6-7 overs both got into a defensive shell- Dravid got lucky but Tendulkar did not and missed.

    Aussies bowled and fielded so well and hats off to Clark for bringing Hussey to bowl. Why is he not bowling himslef these days...

  • on December 27, 2011, 20:09 GMT

    i think a very very special someone is going to show everyone that aussies still havent got their biggest threat out! he must be licking his lips in the dressing room!

  • indyarox on December 27, 2011, 20:04 GMT

    Really good knock by Sachin. He looked majestic. Unfortunate to miss the 100th ton. Hope others contribute & give India the lead in this test to get a positive result.

  • on December 27, 2011, 19:33 GMT

    First of all Congrats to The little master.....Hats off to The Strike Rate he had when he was bowled....truely the best innings of sachin....he has already proved the people that i will not speak anything to the detractors..but my bat will speak....thats what he has done it on the second day of Melbourne Test.....again he and Dravid proved why these two are the backbones of Indian Cricket Team.....People will be there saying that he dint play well r he should Retire....but team lets not forget his age and above that the person sachin rather than the Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar...He will definitely score the 100th Ton and keep the mouth shut of all the people who told or felt that he should retire from the International Cricket.......Lets wait for his 100th TOn ....it will happen sooner r latter.....lets wait for the Action.....n what will be a unbelievable Milestone.....

  • Shan156 on December 27, 2011, 19:31 GMT

    @sundar411, does Sachin need to prove that to anyone? He is the world's best batsman by a country mile. And, fans should stop whining about his 100th 100. Really. Non-India fans like myself would take these gorgeous, stroke-filled 70s anytime. It was pure delight to watch. The man is 38 years old but his game has not been negatively affected by age at all. If anything it has flourished. Some of those drives that he played yesterday were a treat to watch. When Tendulkar is on full song, there is no other batsman in the world that would come remotely close. And, this coming from a hard-core England fan. Hope Sachin keeps playing for a long time (and have his off days when he plays England:-)).

  • Shan156 on December 27, 2011, 19:26 GMT

    Anyone who watched the little master's innings will tell you that it was as fluent an innings that he has played for some time now. The upper cut six off the first ball he received after tea set the tone and after that the innings was full of gorgeous drives. In stark contrast, Dravid was struggling a bit at the other end but the champion batsman that he is, he hung on. It was not that the Aussies were bowling badly (they were actually quite good) but the signs are that it is going to be a long summer ahead for the Aussie bowlers (puts English bowlers' magnificent effort earlier this summer in perspective). Their batsmen aren't firing either and from the look of things, even though these are early days, it looks like India will register their maiden test series victory in Aussie soil.

    One more thing, people keep on saying that this might be the last series for India's fab three. But, I don't think it is necessarily true. Tendulkar is good for another tour down under.

  • DrSunilSharma on December 27, 2011, 19:25 GMT

    Sachin Tendulkar 73, Ricky Ponting 62 and Sehwag 67 have proven to be a class act. Ed Cowan 68 and Dravid 68* have been great wall who bat with such assurance never seen before. Great show to entertain Melbourne boxing day test match crowd. Test Cricket has won! Sunilism

  • on December 27, 2011, 19:07 GMT

    I think it's time for Gambhir to go. He hasn't scored for a while and he is causing India to get poor opening starts. We should give someone else a chance -- there's plenty of batsmen doing well in domestic cricket.

  • s3ns3 on December 27, 2011, 18:55 GMT

    He wants to be in the news on each play day during this tour. He played the way he played because he wanted to be seen as better than Sehwag. Everyone in the media is obliging him. This is detrimental to the success of the Indian team. Period.

  • Rajesh. on December 27, 2011, 18:43 GMT

    Four years after every Australian ground had bid him farewell, he also made us a promise of another glorious summer ---- Only Sachin could have done this.......... forget the 100th, it would come. Just sit back and enjoy the specials :)

  • Rahul_78 on December 27, 2011, 18:32 GMT

    The champion got out to a very good delivery. This is the best and most assured Sachin looked recently at the crease. I am pretty sure the monkey is gonna get off his back on this tour. Every champion needs a worthy stage and occasion to perform and the champion has reached his most favorite stage.

  • humanity1 on December 27, 2011, 18:08 GMT

    The world may be impatient for Sacchin to score his 100th century but he just does his business and capitalizes on all scoring opportunities to score as can be seen from the uppercuts and the shots against Lyons. Also the shot he played when he got bowled through the gate going for a full-blooded drive to a ball that was well pitched up. Unlucky for Sacchin, that was a fluky ball that jagged back off the seam. With his mindset we have an exciting series ahead and Sacchin will thrill us all. Australia watch out!!!!

  • Laulin on December 27, 2011, 18:07 GMT

    I would have sent Ashwin instead of Sharma - chances of an early wicket tomorrow would have been lesser with Ashwin

  • Rahulbose on December 27, 2011, 17:33 GMT

    Ominous signs for Aus. Sehwag and Tendulkar looked in great touch and Dravid is well on his way to a solid knock in the first innings of a series. As most teams know Dravid has a habit of piling on the runs right through a tour when that happens. Indian bowling unit also looked more balanced and bowled Aus out for a below par score. Aussies will need Shane watson in the side to get the upper hand on this Indian team.

  • MasterClass on December 27, 2011, 16:52 GMT

    That flowing cover drive on bent knee was simply the most glorious shot I have ever seen! An attacking Sachin is even better than Shewag to watch! Too bad for his dismissal, not because of the 100/100, but because with him there India was guaranteed a match clinching lead. He will be more disappointed about that, I am 100% sure. But it was absolutely a treat to watch, and it took the best ball of the day to get him, so credit to Siddle. I hope he continues playing his attacking cricket, and roll back the years! He was always meant to be an attacking innovative player. If not for the albatross of Indian expectations around his neck he may have even surpassed the great Don (in my book he already has)!

  • agm_ on December 27, 2011, 16:29 GMT

    The fact that he sat out the ODIs versus Windies is probably proof enough that the 100th100 is not really on his mind. Or he would've tried to get it during one of those 5 games so as not be preoccupied with it during the Australia test. If he does happen to get it in Sydney may be good reason to formally change the name to Sachin Cricket Ground.

    Anyway, 100 is just an arbitrary number. The real excitement is that this shapes up as a classic 4-test series. After a decade of wonderful battles, India and Australia look set to give us some more thrills.

  • Sagarneel on December 27, 2011, 16:06 GMT

    Why do we keep talking about his 100th 100? Why don't we just shut up and enjoy seeing him play....that, more than anything, is a treat for any cricket lover. At the end of the day, we are all lovers of the game, not statisticians. His knock today was not cricket - it was artwork!

  • niraj13 on December 27, 2011, 15:47 GMT

    Tendulkar's innnings was a gem! This innings proved that a useful 60 or 70 is far better than a century sometimes. This was not only reflected masterclass, but also showed that he was totally playing for the team (not for his century, as some people keep suggesting). As his ardent fan, I feel gutted that he could not get to that mark. He completely deserved it. I am sure he will get to his 100th ton sometime in this series. Coming back to this match though, this knock has certainly put India on course. Now, it's upto the rest of the batsmen to make sure they take it from here and put India in a strong position. And one last comment, I don't see any Sachin haters here...knock-knock, are you there...where are you hiding :).

  • on December 27, 2011, 15:43 GMT

    Rather than scoring a restrained century, Tendulkar chose to destroy the Aussies. And being an Indian it is always good to see the Aussies get massacred. Maybe Sachin's this choice can change the game? Dravid was struggling so it was going to be real difficult if slow scoring would be adopted.

  • on December 27, 2011, 15:27 GMT

    @Godfrey - Dhoni - the number 7 ODI batsmen in the world and Dravid the 9th ranked test batsmen all remain, as well as Kohli and Laxman - they're ALL a threat.. If Australia don't get a breakthrough early in the first session tomorrow it will be a long day in the field for them..

    N.Lyon is a hapless inclusion against this opposition.. Good learning curve for him and a brutal experience for his ego..

  • Gupta.Ankur on December 27, 2011, 15:21 GMT

    Sachin is the greatest batsman game has ever seen and he proved it again today....

  • on December 27, 2011, 15:01 GMT

    !!!THE BOSSSSSSSSSSS!!!! played with such an ease and comfort as if he was in a practice session .... those uppercuts were just awesome .. never seen him playing those so many times in a single innings .. looked as if it was becoming almost impossible to bowl at him .....

  • Biggus on December 27, 2011, 14:59 GMT

    @sundar411-Actually Viv Richards was THE original Master Blaster. Having been called that before the unimaginative Indian media tried to misappropriate that moniker and hand it to SRT makes him by definition the original.

  • Johnny_129 on December 27, 2011, 14:58 GMT

    SACHIN THE GREAT! What an innings - a free flowing Sachin is always a class above the rest - he has shown it once again. I was hoping that he would stay not out overnight so that I would go down to the ground tomorrow to watch him. Alas, it was not to be. I just hope that India can fortify this healthy start and go on to win this game as well as the series. I will go down to the ground, anyway,to support the team even though Sachin will not be batting.

  • on December 27, 2011, 14:51 GMT

    I get a premonition he might just get stuck at 99 just like another great in the game of history. But who knows, he has rewritten all record books and the 100th thing will just happen.

  • on December 27, 2011, 14:38 GMT

    One of the best articles on SRT....:)

  • JohnnyRook on December 27, 2011, 14:38 GMT

    Fabulous innings from Sachin. Of course some of his fans are gonna say that its a pity he missed the elusive century again and his haters would say that he missed it because he started thinking about it. Sachin may or may not think a lot about centuries but a lot of his fans and haters sure do. Earlier this innings would have been hailed as a fantastic innings. I fear now it will go down just as a missed opportunity to score 100th hundred which is such a shame because it was such a masterful knock.

  • on December 27, 2011, 14:38 GMT

    India should at least get a lead of 200 runs.

  • on December 27, 2011, 14:33 GMT

    Sachin has another good 2 years left in him.. I dont think he should retire soon. He has not shown any apparent weakness unlike Ponting who looks very edgy..

  • on December 27, 2011, 14:30 GMT

    Thanks to the Legends, India will tomorrow make 500+, & then bundle out Australia for a 'panicky' 200 to win the Boxing Day Test.

  • muthuthewaves on December 27, 2011, 14:28 GMT

    If sachin played the innings that dravid had played people would have bashed him that he is playing for 100th 100. But the master scored faster than viru. Dravid was too slow so sachin took the charge. Dravid has to score at faster rate tomor. Sachin is in superb flow its just a matter of innings for him to reach the milestone. Im sure india gonna win this match

  • maddy20 on December 27, 2011, 14:25 GMT

    It seems the old ball is the way to go on this pitch. If Indian can bat out the next 12 overs without losing another wicket,it would be a long day in the field for the Aussies. Also Sachin should have continued attacking. As we have seen before tea he was not so good at blocking today. @Godfrey Are you sure? There are two very good batsmen to come. The Aussie tormentor VVS LAXMAN and the young but talented Virat Kohli. Dhoni is due for a big knock and then there is Ashwin, who is no mug with the bat. Then there is Zaheer who plays a good supporting role.

  • JohnnyRook on December 27, 2011, 14:13 GMT

    Fabulous innings from Sachin. Of course some of his fans are gonna say that its a pity he missed the elusive century again and his haters would say that he missed it because he started thinking about it. Sachin may or may not think a lot about centuries but a lot of his fans and haters sure do. Earlier this innings would have been hailed as a fantastic innings. I fear now it will go down just as a missed opportunity to score 100th hundred which is such a shame because it was such a masterful knock.

  • on December 27, 2011, 13:58 GMT

    sachin again missed hundread

  • longlivewoodoo on December 27, 2011, 13:42 GMT

    A lead of 125-150+ will be bonus to india.

  • kriketluva on December 27, 2011, 13:24 GMT

    I am no great fan of India. I am an east India from the WI. But I have the greatest regard for Tendulkar. He is a truly talented and humble man. It is incredible he can withstand all that pressure. I hope he makes his hundredth international at some point but that doesn't matter as long as he keeps scoring runs as he did today. Good luck Sachin. May you play for another 5 years.

  • LillianThomson on December 27, 2011, 13:17 GMT

    Tendulkar played a good little innings on a pitch at its best for batting, then got out in the final over. It was a good innings, but there was nothing great about it. He's just the same as Ponting at the moment - two former greats who can still cut it in ODIs against defensive fields but who just can't score Test hundreds reliably any more. Dravid still can, and should still be in the team, but Tendulkar is a shadow of his former self and should have made way for Rohit by now. The selectors will never have the guts to drop the demi-god, so Tendulkar should do it for them.

  • CricketMaan on December 27, 2011, 13:05 GMT

    It was a good ripper that he got, but then Sach has faced many such..it wasnt meant to be today..nevertheless he is far more positive than he was in England..in 15 overs Aussies will take a new red cherry and will test VVS, Virat and Dhoni. I'm not very sure if Virat has the technique to last a probing fast bowling spell, so its imp that VVS stays put and makes a 50, and if India is still batting at tea then the lead must be close to 30 or 40, lets hope we are 5 down at tea :)

  • kingcobra85 on December 27, 2011, 12:53 GMT

    @the_predator just because you love sachin doesnt mean Dravid is any less. For me Dravid will always be above Sachin. For dravid has been there everything India has done something worthwhile abroad. Be it Adelaide 2003, Perth 2007, or Headingley 2007.. In the recent test series against England it looked like Dravid was the only one who can keep his head high

  • on December 27, 2011, 12:38 GMT

    Sachin played a great knock, but I honestly agree with most of the comments made, especially the ones from Gizza and Naresh28. However, I never felt that Tendulkar would score the century at MCG but at Sydney. This was my view before the first ball being bowled in this series. I won't be surpirsed if India wins at Sydney because that ground favours spin bowling more than the others, and India got some quality spinners.

  • ssenthil on December 27, 2011, 12:38 GMT

    It is a really a master class Innings. No false at all until he got out. No life or no reprieve. All pure class and eye catching. Excellent Innings as usual, I wonder cricket world will produce any other batsman near class to him? Absolute treat to watch. He never hit's the ball, just time it the ball, even Dravid goes hard at his square cuts but Sachin's pure timing!!! Love to watch his bat. 100th 100 at SCG in it's 100th test.

  • on December 27, 2011, 12:30 GMT

    I dont care even if Tendulkar does not get to this artificial milestone of "100th 100". I would be elated to see him play like he did during his prime. What a classy exhibition it was! Phew!

  • AtticusFinch on December 27, 2011, 12:30 GMT

    Sachin Tendulkar is a definite example of the Infinite Monkey Theorem wherein you put in 10000 monkeys in a room with 10000 typewriters for 10000 years, one of them will come up with the completed work of Shakespeare. You give him another 10 years and a golfcart ( to reach the middle), he will score a 200 centuries. Then you give the Phantom (Chris Martin) 25 years, even he will end up with 100 centuries!

  • on December 27, 2011, 12:30 GMT

    A sublime innings .Aclass act by a master batsman.Best innings of the match by a mile so far.Sachin realy deserved a 100.

  • spinkingKK on December 27, 2011, 12:29 GMT

    I don't know why the writer and the TV commentators keep saying Dravid struggled. Most of the times when I watched Dravid bats, he struggled a lot more than this. I thought Dravid was batting so fluently in this match, except for the last hour when both Dravid and Tendulkar went to a shell and both nearly paid for it. Dravid was bowled off a no-ball and Tendulkar wasn't lucky enough to get a no-ball when he was bowled. When they bat positively, the runs were there for them. Anyway, excellent response from the India's seniors. Still need a lot of work to be done to take control of this match.

  • AKG0479 on December 27, 2011, 12:29 GMT

    I have been watching SRT's every Aus tour right from 91 onwards. I remember I stay awake in midnight during those days to see his innings.. that 100 in Sydney in his first tour is something which I can never forget.. the 19 year guy negotiating McDermott, Hughes etc.. but all said.. the few upper cuts he played today were the shots of the year ! SRT you are genius.. Long Live.. 100's of 100's and more will come.. Go Ahead.. thanks for entertaining us for such a looong time.

  • on December 27, 2011, 12:23 GMT

    Sachin 71 was crucial in putting pressure on aussies

  • on December 27, 2011, 12:20 GMT

    it was apleasure to watch sachin today.I wish I could see him play tomorrow.sad bt ok

  • karthikr315 on December 27, 2011, 12:10 GMT

    I did not see Sachin's innings today and am not the biggest fan of Sachin. But Sachin has played some important knocks over the past 2-3 years starting with the 100 against England in Chennai which won India the Test series. Also had he not played the knock of 70 odd India would have surely folded for a paltry total. I reckon people are so used to seeing him score big that whenever he scores big it loses importance. To put things into perspective people may well check for past scores and remove his contribution and see where the team would have been.

  • on December 27, 2011, 12:08 GMT

    I agree with many comments about sachin's 100th century. Today he showed yet again what class he is made up of:) The cover drive followed by the straight drive.....It was a sheer joy..a purists delight. Anyone who understands cricket would go miles to watch him bat... God bless him...

  • satish619chandar on December 27, 2011, 11:45 GMT

    An awesome innings by Sachin.. This is as good as any innings i ve seen from him. .Very fluent apart from the first over from Hussey where he played for lunch and deja vu appeared when he was bowled by a beauty which he might have handled better if it was not near the EOD.. Decent day for India.. I would have been more happy had Sachin been ON..

  • on December 27, 2011, 11:37 GMT

    Gud knock By Sachin///but dissappointment @ d end yet again// fngr crosd for the seccond innings

  • sundar411 on December 27, 2011, 11:36 GMT

    Sachin will prove in this series that he IS the original Master Blaster. Century of centuries will come automatically and majestically, in this process.

  • Naresh28 on December 27, 2011, 11:33 GMT

    SACHIN DETRACTORS will be saying that he only plays for himself. I ask the question is his 71 out not good enough for the TEAM? After all everyone keeps saying that he is NOT A TEAM MAN. Then what would you call this stand between him and Dravid? He will score that 100th 100 in time to come. Dont put pressure on him, but enjoy his innings people forget that he is a 38yr old and not 16yr old. He will retire soon. For that matter people who mock Ponting as well should learn to respect another great cricketer. We the fans will continue to support who we think is good. People like RandyOz , Alexk400 hope this gets to you.

  • Gizza on December 27, 2011, 11:28 GMT

    He'll probably make it at Sydney since that is his most successful ground in the entire world. If he can't make it there I don't think he will make it for the rest of the tour and will remain stuck on the Bradman-like 99. Then I think he should retire. But like I said there are good chances at Sydney.

  • the_predator on December 27, 2011, 11:24 GMT

    This innigs shows why sachin is sachin, and what is the diffeence between him and everyone else. When i was watching the match it seemed to me sachin and dravid was batting on two different wicket. I just could not believe his luck, just got beaten once in whole innings and in that ball he was bowled, and against that shewag was dropped thrice number of time beaten. Dravid once bowled and catch going through slips. This inings deserved to be converted to a 100. not everyday one can be in such unbelievable touch

  • on December 27, 2011, 11:19 GMT

    he is always gr8!!! not to worry...he will sure ton this session...:)

  • on December 27, 2011, 11:18 GMT

    Yes, Sachin looked very comfortable & in most cases in control. A sign of very big & great things to come. However I don't think India will surpass the Aussies' total & if they do, it will not be by much. Ashwin may be the biggest batting threat remaining. Not Dravid. The Aussies r bowling well.

  • on December 27, 2011, 11:17 GMT

    This innings was one of the best in recent time. Champions knock. We can wait long for a hundred to watch such glory.

  • on December 27, 2011, 11:14 GMT

    Sachin Tendulkar's promise of a glorious summer

  • Y2SJ on December 27, 2011, 11:03 GMT

    Forget the 100. Sachin played his attacking game today and the innings was a treat to watch. Hope Dravid and Laxman get it going and post a healthy lead tomorrow.

  • Rydham on December 27, 2011, 11:02 GMT

    This was one the best innings of Sachin ... Total domination and stubborn control ... It is sad that he was been bowled on a very good delivery of Siddle. Any one could have been bowled out on that delivery. Had he scored 100 runs in this inning, this could have been the best 100 of him irrespective of the result of the match !!

  • srikanths on December 27, 2011, 10:56 GMT

    Just hope there is a repeat of 2008-09 Australian tour with the overall result being different for India. I recall that Tendulkar had scored a clinical 62, almost the way he did today. He looked in total command. In fact that 62 was better than the Sydney 154*. I just hope he keeps us all entertained with bigger scores. For once, missing out the 100 did not bother me. I was taken in by the quality of the knock.One did regret his getting out in the last over.May be better things in store for the great man. It usually happens, Dravid scratched along and was lucky for a change( He deserves that after some bad luck in England) to survive the bowled of Siddle and Tendulkar who was commanding right through fell.It is a one ball game , anyway. Someday you have luck on your side , somedays you don't

  • moBlue on December 27, 2011, 10:53 GMT

    2003... the last test at sydney. the series against a formidable AUS team - with a fine bowling attack compared to the embarrassing one on display today - was tied 1-1. it was to be steve waugh's last test. IND piled on 705!!! ...and yet AUS escaped what would - and should! - have been IND's first series victory in AUS! ...and AUS escaped in large part thanks to the rank incompetence of a WI umpire, bucknor, who gave famous "not out" decisions on many plumb lbw appeals as IND bowled for a famous victory that never came! 4 players from that game remember that day all too well - sehwag, dravid, laxman and yes, tendulkar. sachin is leading the way toward righting that wrong as only he can - on his last opportunity to do so! what an inning he played today! a masterclass from a genius, indeed! but purposeful - from a man who remembers sydney in 2003, no doubt!!! When IND had to say "we wuz robbed!" by bucknor despite sachin scoring 301 unbeaten runs!!! 241 n.o. in INN-1 and 60 n.o. in INN-2

  • Bobby_Talyarkhan on December 27, 2011, 10:52 GMT

    Sid is right. It is as if Sac hin has finally come to terms with the impending milestone and mentally put it out of his mind. The difference in attitude and intent was palpable. It was only the end of the day which induced the first uncertainty and tentativeness in what was otherwise a perfectly pitched and paced innings. This truly augurs well for this tour - it suggests Sachin has finally found a way of managing expectations which doesn't inhibit his natural talent but tempers and channels it to be shaped by that and formed by that ironclad technique.

  • cenitin on December 27, 2011, 10:42 GMT

    What an inning !! Really class act. He shows to world why he has been rated higher to Dravid, Ponting, Sehwag. It was like another match was going on at Sachin's end. He may not scored a 100th century here but I will never forget this inning. Sid you summed it very well...exactly what I think about this inning in these below lines ...."** Tendulkar here was setting the tone for the summer; if the hundredth was on his mind, it didn't show. India's last four tours have all begun with batting failures; he was trying to make sure this one wasn't going to. He knew Dravid was having an off day, and it's only a few like Dravid who come out of such off days unconquered, but if Tendulkar hadn't scored that fast from the other end Australia could have cornered India. "**

  • Mr_Booze on December 27, 2011, 10:34 GMT

    Gutted for Sachin - I really hope he knocks this milestone off sooner, rather than later. Then imagine what we'll see from him....

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  • Mr_Booze on December 27, 2011, 10:34 GMT

    Gutted for Sachin - I really hope he knocks this milestone off sooner, rather than later. Then imagine what we'll see from him....

  • cenitin on December 27, 2011, 10:42 GMT

    What an inning !! Really class act. He shows to world why he has been rated higher to Dravid, Ponting, Sehwag. It was like another match was going on at Sachin's end. He may not scored a 100th century here but I will never forget this inning. Sid you summed it very well...exactly what I think about this inning in these below lines ...."** Tendulkar here was setting the tone for the summer; if the hundredth was on his mind, it didn't show. India's last four tours have all begun with batting failures; he was trying to make sure this one wasn't going to. He knew Dravid was having an off day, and it's only a few like Dravid who come out of such off days unconquered, but if Tendulkar hadn't scored that fast from the other end Australia could have cornered India. "**

  • Bobby_Talyarkhan on December 27, 2011, 10:52 GMT

    Sid is right. It is as if Sac hin has finally come to terms with the impending milestone and mentally put it out of his mind. The difference in attitude and intent was palpable. It was only the end of the day which induced the first uncertainty and tentativeness in what was otherwise a perfectly pitched and paced innings. This truly augurs well for this tour - it suggests Sachin has finally found a way of managing expectations which doesn't inhibit his natural talent but tempers and channels it to be shaped by that and formed by that ironclad technique.

  • moBlue on December 27, 2011, 10:53 GMT

    2003... the last test at sydney. the series against a formidable AUS team - with a fine bowling attack compared to the embarrassing one on display today - was tied 1-1. it was to be steve waugh's last test. IND piled on 705!!! ...and yet AUS escaped what would - and should! - have been IND's first series victory in AUS! ...and AUS escaped in large part thanks to the rank incompetence of a WI umpire, bucknor, who gave famous "not out" decisions on many plumb lbw appeals as IND bowled for a famous victory that never came! 4 players from that game remember that day all too well - sehwag, dravid, laxman and yes, tendulkar. sachin is leading the way toward righting that wrong as only he can - on his last opportunity to do so! what an inning he played today! a masterclass from a genius, indeed! but purposeful - from a man who remembers sydney in 2003, no doubt!!! When IND had to say "we wuz robbed!" by bucknor despite sachin scoring 301 unbeaten runs!!! 241 n.o. in INN-1 and 60 n.o. in INN-2

  • srikanths on December 27, 2011, 10:56 GMT

    Just hope there is a repeat of 2008-09 Australian tour with the overall result being different for India. I recall that Tendulkar had scored a clinical 62, almost the way he did today. He looked in total command. In fact that 62 was better than the Sydney 154*. I just hope he keeps us all entertained with bigger scores. For once, missing out the 100 did not bother me. I was taken in by the quality of the knock.One did regret his getting out in the last over.May be better things in store for the great man. It usually happens, Dravid scratched along and was lucky for a change( He deserves that after some bad luck in England) to survive the bowled of Siddle and Tendulkar who was commanding right through fell.It is a one ball game , anyway. Someday you have luck on your side , somedays you don't

  • Rydham on December 27, 2011, 11:02 GMT

    This was one the best innings of Sachin ... Total domination and stubborn control ... It is sad that he was been bowled on a very good delivery of Siddle. Any one could have been bowled out on that delivery. Had he scored 100 runs in this inning, this could have been the best 100 of him irrespective of the result of the match !!

  • Y2SJ on December 27, 2011, 11:03 GMT

    Forget the 100. Sachin played his attacking game today and the innings was a treat to watch. Hope Dravid and Laxman get it going and post a healthy lead tomorrow.

  • on December 27, 2011, 11:14 GMT

    Sachin Tendulkar's promise of a glorious summer

  • on December 27, 2011, 11:17 GMT

    This innings was one of the best in recent time. Champions knock. We can wait long for a hundred to watch such glory.

  • on December 27, 2011, 11:18 GMT

    Yes, Sachin looked very comfortable & in most cases in control. A sign of very big & great things to come. However I don't think India will surpass the Aussies' total & if they do, it will not be by much. Ashwin may be the biggest batting threat remaining. Not Dravid. The Aussies r bowling well.