Nagpur Test: India 122/3 at lunch

Published: Thursday, November 6, 2008, 11:58 [IST]
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Nagpur: Test debutant Jason Krejza gave the Aussies the opening day pre lunch session honours with two quick wickets as the Indians went to lunch on the opening day in some trouble at 122 for three wickets in the fourth and final Test here today.

At the break, Sachin Tendulkar with 16 runs and V V S Laxman, who is playing his 100th Test with four runs, were holding fort for the hosts.

Earlier, India's captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and batted first in the first ever Test match at this venue with Australia needing to win this Test to square the series.

India started of confidently with Virender Sehwag in tremendous form and along with debutant M Vijay saw through the opening spell of the Aussies without any trouble.

Sehwag looked good playing his special upper cut shot of Mitchell Johnson for a boundary to third man and then following it up with a superb flick in the same over to the midwicket fence.

At the other end, M Vijay seemed to be gaining in confidence as he soaked in the atmosphere of Test cricket essaying the copybook coverdrive of Aussie pace spearhead Brett Lee.

Sehwag then was lucky as he was dropped by Ricky Ponting in the slips of Shane Watson with the score reading 50 for no loss and Sehwag on his personal score of 28.

Debutant off spinner Jason Krejza was then introduced in the 13th over and immediately Sehwag went after him lofting him for a four and then a huge six over long on. The attacking Indian batsman then soon reached his 50, which came in just 45 balls and was inclusive of seven boundaries and a six.

However, Vijay who was looking good and solid at the other end got a short pitched ball from Watson which he jabbed at and the resultant edge was easily taken behind the wickets by Brad Haddin. Vijay made 33 with two boundaries and the score was 98 for one. Dravid, the next man in, continued with his wretched form as he was dismissed by Krejza for his first Test wicket, when Dravid gave a simple bat pad catch to forward short leg where Katich made no mistake. Dravid made 0 with India on 99 for two.

Toss Report

Sehwag also soon perished when he tried to cut a delivery from Krejza which was too close to his body. The ball took the edge of the bat onto the stumps for a big wicket for Australia.

Laxman, playing his 100th Test match today, then joined Tendulkar and the two took India to lunch without any further loss.

The hosts meanwhile, gave M Vijay his first Test cap replacing Gautam Gambhir who has been banned by the ICC for elbowing Shane Watson in the last Test at Delhi, while Harbhajan Singh came in place of the now retired Anil Kumble.

Australia meanwhile, made one change to their side that played in Delhi with off spinner Jason Kerjza coming in place of Stuart Clark.

Salute to prince of Indian cricket

This means the Aussies are playing two spinners for the first time in this series.

This Test is also expected to see a lot of landmarks being crossed, with this being Sourav Ganguly's last Test match, having announced his retirement earlier, while Laxman has become the eighth Indian player to have crossed the landmark of 100 Tests. The others are Sachin Tendulkar, Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Dilip Vengsarkar, Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly.

This Test will also give Harbhajan Singh an opportunity to entire the elite club of bowlers having claimed 300 or more wickets, with the off spinner just one short of the mark. He would be the third Indian after Anil Kumble and Kapil Dev to have reached this landmark.

Sachin Tendulkar also has a record awaiting with him being on 99 catches and one more catch would see him complete 100 catches.


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