Sachin Tendulkar’s 40th Test century put India in control on the first day of the fourth Test against Australia at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Jamtha in Nagpur on Thursday.
At stumps on Day one, India were 311/5 with Sourav Ganguly (27) and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (4) at the crease.
Tendulkar (109) was trapped plumb in front of the wicket by Mitchell Johnson by a delivery that was going to hit top of middle stump. This is the third time in this series that Johnson has dismissed Tendulkar.
Johnson set up the dismissal beautifully, he first bowled a couple of short deliveries to push Tendulkar back and then pitched one slightly up and straightening to put an end to Tendulkar’s brilliant innings and put India to 303/5.
Tendulkar reached his 40th Test ton, his 10th against Australia, when he cut a delivery by Australian Test debutant Jason Krejza to the point boundary for his 12th four. The standout shot in Tendulkar’s innings was a superb straight drive off Brett Lee that was only a gentle push but didn’t give the fielders any chance.
With his brilliant innings, Tendulkar tightened India back in the game as he had arrived at the crease 99/2. The Master batsman added 146 runs for the fourth wicket with VVS Laxman, who playing in his 100th Test, hit his 37th Test fifty.
Tendulkar was helped by the butter-fingered Aussies as he was dropped on 85 by Johnson at long off and 98 by Lee, both off Krejza.
Earlier, Krejza dismissed VVS Laxman for 64 to reduce India to 262/4.
Laxman made room to cut, the ball bounced a little more, Laxman edged and wicket keeper Brad Haddin fiddled but latched on to the ball.
Before lunch, Virender Sehwag and Test debutant M Vijay gave India a good start with an opening stand of 98 runs off 17.5 overs.
Krejza, after taking initial punishment from the Indians, took two wickets to bring Australia back in the game.
But it was Shane Watson who gave Australia the much-needed breakthrough, when he surprised Vijay (33) with a bouncer who edged it to keeper Haddin.
Krejza then got into the act by dismissing Rahul Dravid and for a duck and Sehwag for 66.
Lack of form was evident in the way Dravid poked at a delivery and gloved it to forward short leg for Simon Katich to take the catch and gave Krejza his first Test wicket.
Soon after, Sehwag looking to cut to third man, edged the ball onto his stumps, for Krejza’s second wicket. Sehwag’s rapid-fire knock came off 69 deliveries and was studded with nine fours and a six.