Mumbai, Nov 24: Sachin Tendulkar scores his 63rd Test fifty as India score 281/3 at stumps on Day three. The day saw Rahul Dravid scoring 13000 runs in Test cricket to become the second highest run scorer in Tests. India need 110 more runs to avoid follow-on.
[Scorecard: 3rd Test; India Vs West Indies, Mumbai]
Rahul Dravid fell 18 runs short of his 37th century as he was dismissed by Samuels for 82. Indians got a crucial 71 run partnership between Dravid and Gambhir as the left hander scored his 18th half century before being dismissed by Ravi Rampaul for 55. Gambhir along with Dravid added 71 runs for the second wicket. India trail by 309 runs at the end of third day's play at Wankhede.
With Sachin Tendulkar unbeaten on 67, Laxman 32* India would aim to score 110 runs early on Day 4 to avoid follow-on and give Sachin an opportunity to score the historic ton as this match is headed for a draw with two more days' play at disposal.
With one feat already achieved, crowd is awaiting a huge one, that of Sachin Tendulkar's 100th ton. Its a rare occasion wherein the master blaster has got an opportunity to score the historic ton at his home ground. Will he, wont he will be the talk of the hour as everyone are curious about this rare feat.
Windies bowlers worked hard and were rewarded with three Indian wickets on Day 3. Comparatively, Windies could extract bounce on a relatively flat wicket and worked on change of pace which helped them to cut down on the run rate as India managed only 281 runs while Windies had earlier added 15 runs to their score of 575 to finish at 590.
With less than 300 runs on a flat track shows, bowlers did manage to tackle the batsmen, while Indians were on defensive mode after losing Sehwag and Gambhir early during their innings.
Earlier in the day, Sehwag added 67 runs for the first wicket with Gambhir before being dismissed by Darren Sammy for 37.
Early on Day 3, The last pair of Windies batsmen added 15 runs to their over-night score of 575/9 as Devendra Bishoo was dismissed by Ashwin, helping him to register his second five-for in the series.
India bowled out Windies to 590 in the first innings after a run fest by the youngsters. Bravo (166) fell one run short of equaling Lara's record of 167 in 13th test. Windies batsmen tore apart the Indian attack as they scored half centuries every passing session. Kirk Edwards (86), Powell( 81), Brathwaite (68), Barath (62) and Samuels (61) everyone showed a lot of grit and played defensively as they appeared to be confident driving the deliveries in a disciplined manner.
The centre of attraction was definitely Darren Bravo who has been compared to the legend Brian Lara for his batting style, was a delight to watch as he elegantly drove the deliveries that were either full or short as he scored his third hundred in four test matches pointing out that he has more to offer to West Indies cricket.
The centurion, Darren Bravo (166) was out caught behind by MS Dhoni while trying to drive a wide ball from Varun Aaron.
Darren Bravo, captured all the attention as he proved yet again that he is the man to count on as Windies registered the highest partnership of 164 runs for the third wicket as it was laid the foundation for the visitors.
While Indian bowling looked pathetic as the pace bowlers did not try much, though a flat track, they could have generated bounce which was hard to find on the first two days. Debutant Varun Aaron, though impressed everyone by claiming 3 wickets in the first innings, needs a lot of improvement as he has to work on variation and rhythm as pace alone will not fetch him wickets every time. Aaron picked up his maiden wicket by dismissing the centurion Darren Bravo for 166.
India's Ashwin proved yet again that he is a class performer by picking up his second five for in the series He has already bagged 18 wickets in the series so far and inked another record for best bowling performance by an Indian bowler on debut in a three match series.
While the pace attack and fielding looked vulnerable, India made way for Windies batsmen to flourish as they saw their highest partnerships against India and paved way for them to post a mammoth total of 590 after playing for two days.
This literally means, Indians were outplayed by a bunch of Windies youngsters as the hosts watched in awe while the young brigade led by darren Bravo posted centuries on a flat track that offered bounce.
Windies added 15 runs to their overnight tally of 575/9 to finish at 590 as Ashwin dismissed Bishoo to register his fifth wicket in the innings.
This is the second time in the history of West Indies cricket that a WI team has scored 400 in two consecutive innings since their 749 and 544 against England in 2009.
The start of the test saw Chanderpaul missing and now with 590 runs on the board, Chanderpaul's absence is not felt. Credit goes to the youngsters who have played an extraordinary innings to help Windies post a mammoth total.
Infact this is the 20th time in the history of Test Cricket that 5 batsmen have posted half centuries in an innings registering records one after the other as Rahul crosses 13000 mark, the match is going to witness many more in the days to come. It remains to be seen if Sachin can withstand the hype surrounding his 100th ton as he joins VVS Laxman on Day 4 of the third test match at Wankhede.