Melbourne, Dec 27: Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar disappoints again as he got another valuable fifty but missed out on an opportunity to score the impending 100th ton again as he fell short by 27 runs. Dravid (68*) and Sachin Tendulkar (73) put up 117 runs for the 3rd wicket helping India reach 214/3 at stumps on Day 2 of the Boxing Day Test at Melbourne on Tuesday. India trail by 119 runs with 7 wickets in hand.
[Scorecard: Boxing Day Test; India Vs Australia, Melbourne]
Sachin Tendulkar, scored his 64th Test fifty on Day 2 of the first Test match here at Melbourne, which included 8 boundaries and a six. This time around, Sachin scored 73 off just 98 balls. Yet again scoring a century seemed very close for Sachin when he had scored 50 plus runs. It seemed very far and the wait continues as he has missed out on an opportunity to score a century after a magnificent knock of 73.
Peter Siddle dismisses the man of the moment, as he bowls a top length ball at blistering pace. while Tendulkar gets on the front foot, while he wouldn't reach the length of the ball, it sverwed in late, which makes you think whether it was a reverse swing?
While Sachin tried to punch through the off side, he was playing down the wrong line. The ball thundered through to rattle the off stump. Seems like Sachin wasn't in the best position for that drive, in hindsight.
Rahul Dravid on the other hand, is as solid as the rock. He was brimming with confidence, played another gritty knock and remained unbeaten on 68* at stumps on Day 2.
Virender Sehwag makes his way to the pavilion after scoring his 31st fifty, as India score 99/2 at Tea on Day 2. Sachin and Dravid have to shoulder more responsibility and take India to a safe position as they trail by 234 runs with 9 wickets in hand.
Resuming play from 6/0 after lunch, India has scored 99/2 on Day 2. India lost Gambhir early in the second session which put more pressure on Virender Sehwag (67) and Dravid (25*) who were at the crease. Sehwag, played his usual innings, survived thrice as he got 3 lives form Aussies who played Santa by dropping his catches.
Virender Sehwag scored another flamboyant 67 which included 7 boundaries which brought up his 31st fifty an dwhen he was on 29, he reached another milestone by scoring more than 8000 runs in Test Cricket.
Gambhir got out to an average shot off Ben Hilfenhaus. He had the option of leaving the ball but went on to hit it, which got a faint edge and landed in keeper's gloves.
Earlier in the day, good partnerships from the tail saw Australia post 333 in their first innings against India on the second day of the Boxing Day Test on Tuesday.
Probably a little more effort was needed to dismiss the tailenders early on Day 2. India missed a chance in the very first over as Siddle could have been run out provided Ashwin wasn't that shy and had he hit the stumps, Siddle would have gone 34. If India had managed to get that wicket in the very first over of the day, it would have added more pressure on the Aussies and the visitors could have restricted them to a score below 300.
Haddin (27) and Siddle (41) played extremely well as they piled up 72 runs for the 7th wicket. The second highest partnership of Aussie innings. Though the next two batsmen did not stay for long at the crease, the ninth wicket partnership cost India dear, as they got 27 runs. Pattinson (18*) and Ben Hilfenhaus (19) provided the spark at the end of Aussie innings.
Now, with Aussie tailenders piling up 56 runs with such ease, pitch becoming batsman friendly would be the derivation as the bowling was also equally good. A few instances too resulted in delay as Haddin edged one delivery, which snicked low to gully where Virender Sehwag held it.
Haddin did ask Sehwag whether he had held it, and the umpires delayed it further by checking whether there was a possibility of a no-ball. But before everyone settled into their seats, the wicket-keeper batsman had made his way to the pavillion.
India got moments of happiness as they dismissed Haddin, Siddle in quick succession after they had posed a threat for the visitors after scoring 72 runs together.
For India, Zaheer Khan was the centre of attraction, as he proved the world that he is back, with a vengence. Now, with 4 wickets in the first innings, he has also proved his critics wrong who had questioned his fitness.
The other two youngsters Umesh Yadav, though went wicketless on Day 2, he got his share on the first day as he claimed 3 wickets while the Tamil Nadu spinner R Ashwin too got 3 wickets in the first innings. Both were impressive. Ishant Sharmawas unlucky as he went wicketless but he impressed one and all too with his accurate line and length.
With Aussies scoring 333 in their first innings, India should capitalize on this chance and put up a good total on the board. Last time when Virender Sehwag was here at MCG, eight years ago, he had scored 195. That will boost the Indians as the Delhi opener recently recorded the highest individual ODI score against West Indies last month. With Dravid's form at its usual best, we can expect the duo to shoulder more responsibilities and aim for a good total in the first innings.