India edge it as Australia drop it
Best and worst
Sourav Ganguly was asked about Brad Hogg's bowling during the Sydney Test and said "he's not the worst". By then he was already on top of Hogg's dismissal list, and today he fell to the wrist-spinner for the fifth time in his career and the fourth occasion in the series. Hogg, who is playing his sixth Test, has struggled to remove any other Indian, but has Ganguly's measure.
Australia's slip catching woes were supposed to be fixed by the return of Matthew Hayden at first slip. Things looked good when Hayden accepted a comfortable take off Virender Sehwag, but late in the day he spilled one that went straight to him from Mahendra Singh Dhoni's edge. Dhoni was 3 and survived until stumps.
Umpires can't escape the extra scrutiny since Sydney and Asad Rauf had a troubled start to the Test. Two lbws should have gone the Australians' way - Mitchell Johnson's shouts to Rahul Dravid on 3 and Sehwag on 53 were adjacent - but they were not complaining when Hogg picked up Ganguly. Although the ball was spinning away from off stump when it hit Ganguly, Rauf was convinced and added it to his growing list of errors. Fortunately there was not much for him to judge over the final third of the day.
Tweak at the top
India's decision to play five bowlers and leave out Wasim Jaffer meant another change at the top. Dravid had filled the breach in the opening two games but it was Irfan Pathan who walked out here. It was only the third occasion he had opened in a Test, but he seemed comfortable, pushing his first ball for four through square leg. He was beaten a few times, especially against Johnson, and fell nicking to one that moved slightly away.
Three in three
It took him 18 balls to get off the mark but Sachin Tendulkar quickly made up for lost time. He announced himself with a glorious front-foot drive off Brett Lee before smashing three consecutive fours off Johnson: the first was drilled to the mid-off fence, the next sliced past gully and the third, the icing on the cake, bulleted through cover. Suddenly he was 16 and motoring towards his 39th century.
Perfect set-up, clumsy drop
Lee should have had VVS Laxman on 37, especially given the way he set it all up. Returning for his third spell, he was lashed for four behind gully before slipping in an inswinger that had Laxman pushing and thundering a quick outswinger that produced the edge. Fired in at 145kph, it flew to Adam Gilchrist's right, but he was too late to take off and could only parry the ball in front of the slips.