India v Australia, 1st Test, Chennai, 2nd day February 23, 2013

Tendulkar, Kohli even up match


India 182 for 3 (Tendulkar 71*, Kohli 50*, Pattinson 3-28) trail Australia 380 (Clarke 130, Henriques 68, Warner 50, Ashwin 7-103) by 198 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

In the space of his first two balls, Sachin Tendulkar changed the complexion of this match. Arriving at the wicket with India a forlorn 12 for 2 in reply to 380, he punched a rampant James Pattinson through the covers with so much certainty that a previously confident Australia were given pause, while a momentarily cowed India breathed anew.

By the end of the day Pattinson had burst through a third batsman, Cheteshwar Pujara, but used only in a pair of micro-spells he was unable to get at Tendulkar, and the hosts reached a contented 182 for 3 with Virat Kohli offering typically wristy support. Tendulkar's innings was the most assured and ominous he has played at Test level in recent memory, though it could easily have ended in the final over before tea.

Nathan Lyon pushed most of his deliveries through, but second ball he looped an off break that Tendulkar padded away dismissively though it appeared bound for the stumps. Australia's appeal was prolonged, but the umpire Marais Erasmus was unmoved. The close call had a restorative effect on Tendulkar, allowing him to go on to only a second half-century in his past 14 Test innings, and a deflating one on Lyon, depriving him of the confidence an early wicket would have provided. He was seldom a threat from that moment.

India's innings had been delayed until after lunch by the obduracy of the Australian tail. Michael Clarke went on from his overnight 103 not out to 130, going past Greg Chappell on Australia's list of run aggregates along the way, and Peter Siddle dead-batted to a stodgy but valuable 19 from 94 balls. Pattinson and Lyon then managed to extend the session, each ball a little victory for the pair though they were both fortunate to survive lbw appeals. Lyon ultimately succumbed when his sweep was well held at leg slip.

R Ashwin again bowled teasingly, and Lyon's wicket gave him a new innings high-mark in first-class cricket. Ravindra Jadeja and Harbhajan Singh struck earlier in the morning, the latter improving somewhat on his diffident performance on the first day of the series. Redolent of a desert, the pitch required constant vigilance by the batsmen, and does not look like improving.

M Vijay and Virender Sehwag walked out for the start of the afternoon session aware that Australia's most threatening bowlers would be employed immediately. Mitchell Starc took the first over and bowled tidily without extracting his pet inswing to the right-hand batsmen, relying on the occasional short ball for the element of surprise. He was later to spend too many overs around the wicket, negating his natural angle, and the creation of footmarks for Lyon.

At the other end Pattinson charged in for his first Test since a side strain removed him from Australia's attack in Adelaide last November. Clearly instructed to bowl at his fastest in short spells by his captain Clarke, Pattinson touched 150kmph during a three-over stint that exhilarated everyone but the Indian opening batsmen.

Entering the match with modest domestic form, Vijay was beaten for pace by a full ball that tailed back fractionally and plucked out leg stump via the inside edge. Sehwag never seemed at home, and a late defensive prod on a ball angled back into him resulted in a dismissal that looked bizarre but also felt inevitable.

It was reminiscent of Graham Gooch's famed handled the ball dismissal in an Ashes Test at Old Trafford in 1993, only this time the batsman allowed the ball to drop on the stumps rather than pushing it away with an illegal glove. Having worn his spectacles to the middle, Sehwag strolled off in search of a new optometrist.

Tendulkar marked his guard with few recent Test runs behind him, and a clear pattern in his recent dismissals - the stumps were bound to be attacked. But he confronted those first two balls with such assurance that the tone of the innings changed almost immediately, Australia's bowlers and fielders given pause by the poise of an ageing master, as he set his soundest foundation for quite some time.

Pujara lost little by comparison, technically compact but never missing a chance to score, and together with Tendulkar he pushed India out of the worst of the danger. Tendulkar's non-shot against Lyon will stick in the memory of the Australians should he go on to a century on day three, much as Clarke's escape from a bat-pad appeal gave India reason to feel wronged on the first afternoon.

Australia's bowlers found some reverse swing not long after tea, Moises Henriques and Siddle both bending the ball usefully. But it was Pattinson who found a way through Pujara, though with a delivery never intended to curve. Delivered across the seam, it skidded through low and beat Pujara's slightly lax defensive stroke, leaving India precariously placed at 105 for 3.

But the breach was not fully exploited. Pattinson again returned to outfield duty after only three overs, Lyon remained inconsistent, and the rest were lacking in danger if not effort. Clarke eventually brought himself on from over the wicket, and had the ball biting out of the rough. But he was unable to land there enough to maintain pressure, and the day petered out with Tendulkar looking every bit as assured as his first two balls had been.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Al on February 24, 2013, 13:31 GMT

    Agree with @Samychennai - @ nyc _missle, are you crazy to talking like this??? there is nothing wrong with CSK players...Who took wickets yesterday?? It is ashwin and jadeja who are them were criticized before the start and they have achieved it. Dhoni isn't senseless. If you blame Vijay then why you avoid Sewag? Both of them failed. So what? that is match and wait for second innings then criticize...

  • Sherjil on February 24, 2013, 7:23 GMT

    People here seems to be kidding including the reporter itself referring to the LBW shout, the LBW appeal of SRT was too doubtful to be given out.He was way forward and the ball struck outside the line of off-stump. In no way it was to be given out.

  • Dan on February 24, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    @Posted by hhillbumper on (February 23, 2013, 18:36 GMT), Here is what Lyon did this morning - Lyon to Tendulkar, OUT, oh Lyon, what a beauty. That's a lovely offspinner's dismissal. They dream of these, and when you do this to Tendulkar in a Test in Chennai, oh boy what a feeling. Tossed up outside off, exactly in that rough, Tendulkar drives away from the body, and it spins sharply through the gate. Hopefully a few more to come today good buddy...

  • Gaz on February 24, 2013, 5:09 GMT

    Lyon bowls the little master with one that "spins sharply through the gate"... Not bad work for a seamer that can't spin the ball hey? I hope FFL was watching because he's been dying the see Lyon bowl a ball that turns. Would hate to think he missed seeing Lyon beat one of the greatest batsmen of all time. Still, a fine innings by Tendulkar!

  • damien on February 24, 2013, 5:00 GMT

    Not a bad delivery by Lyon to dismiss the Little master! I do believe it turned a little bit. I wonder if certain observers on this site will have much to say. Summed up well by Ravi Shastri " the perfect off spinners wicket". His opinion is actually held in high regard in the cricket world unlike some. He never mentioned seam bowling at all , strange that. He probably hasn't had a lobotomy unlike some.

  • Al on February 24, 2013, 4:52 GMT

    I hope Tendulkar scores a century. That will guarantee his selection for South Africa. Only after Steyn and company completely humiliate him will he come to his senses and announce his retirement.

  • Dummy4 on February 24, 2013, 4:50 GMT

    @ FFL just thought id share this with you from the commentary, because we all know your blind as a bat "61.6 Lyon to Kohli, no run, sharp turn and bounce, Kohli takes the bottom hand off, is hit on the handle of the bat, but luckily for him it dies immediately and falls well short of short leg" looks like Lyon can turn the ball you just need some eyes that work to see it

  • spirit on February 24, 2013, 3:30 GMT

    @Baseball-Sucks..many factual mistakes in your statements-1)Umpire was Erasmus not Dharmasena when the appeal against sachin was made(which proves you are writing with your imagination here)..2)Sachin was not Plumb LBW because when ball hits the pad almost a foot outside the line of either off-stump or legstump is never called as plumb,add to that when the leg is stretched almost 2meter and ball spinning its far away from being called as PLUMB..3)Batsman never walks by themselves for LBW no matter how close the lbw all in all you are writing stuff's from your wild imagination..learn some cricket and dont just blame others

  • Jason on February 24, 2013, 3:29 GMT

    Some great turn, bounce and rip from Lyon yesterday. Only a hop, skip and a jump to the world's best (Panesar) now. Go you good thing!

  • Sam on February 24, 2013, 3:26 GMT

    @ nyc _missle, are you crazy to talking like this??? there is nothing wrong with CSK players...Who took wickets yesterday?? It is ashwin and jadeja who are them were criticized before the start and they have achieved it. Dhoni isn't senseless. His decision to include local boys for match is right and thus the way it is worked. If you blame Vijay then why you avoid Sewag? Both of them failed. So what? that is match and wait for second innings then criticize...