India vs Australia, 1st Test at Chennai: Kohli and Dhoni fight back after Tendulkar's fall

Virat Kohli (right) and MS Dhoni shared an unbeaten 67-run partnership at lunch on Day Three © PTI (File Pic)

Chennai: Feb 24, 2013

India lost the wicket of Sachin Tendulkar (81), but recovered well to take lunch at 263 for four on Day Three of the first Test against Australia. India now trail Australia by 117 runs.

Tendulkar and Virat Kohli began proceedings cautiously in the morning session as Australia charged in with Peter Siddle and James Pattinson. The duo maintained a good line and length, and continuously asked questions to the Indian batsmen, who found it difficult to score.

India were moving along at a snail’s pace when Nathan Lyon was brought on. The Aussies continued to probe and the off-spinner eventually got the all-important breakthrough, of Tendulkar no less.

Lyon pitched in the rough and bowled through the defence of Tendulkar. The little master failed to get to the pitch of the cherry and was deceived by the turn as the leg stump was disturbed. The jubilation that followed among the Aussies was an ode to how vital that wicket was. Tendulkar had fallen for 81 as captain MS Dhoni came out into the middle at No 6.

While a charged up Australia went for another wicket, Dhoni survived a few good chances against Lyon and Pattinson as he looked to take the risks. India were trying to increase their run rate after the slow start and Dhoni knew only one way to go about his batting. The Indian captain soon launched a counter-attack on the Aussies as he brought up the 50-run stand with Kohli in no time.

After the first hour of play totally belonged to the visitors, who were aggressive and probing with their bowling, Kohli and Dhoni courageously provided a response following Tendulkar’s fall. Kohli, in particular, was nicely getting to the pitch of the ball against Lyon and looked to have learned from Tendulkar’s mistake. The pitch was not getting any easier to bat on and that made the partnership even more important for India.

Brief Scores: Australia 380 (Michael Clarke 130, Moises Henriques 68, David Warner 59;  Ravichandran Ashwin 7 for 103) lead India 263 for 4 (Virat Kohli 83*, Sachin Tendulkar 81; James Pattinson 3 for 41) by 117 runs.

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