Kolkata: Dec 5, 2012
Senior Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar looked like regaining some form as India reached 172 for four at tea on the first day of their third cricket Test against England on Wednesday.
Tendulkar remained undefeated on 46 and in the company of Yuvraj Singh added 36 runs for the unbroken fifth wicket stand. Yuvraj was unbeaten on 14.
Having lost two wickets in the opening session, the hosts lost another couple in the second session with opener Gautam Gambhir again failing to convert a good start as he was out for 60.
Virat Kohli was also dismissed cheaply by James Anderson for six runs but Tendulkar batted with lot of composure as he hit eight fours in the 98 deliveries faced so far.
Since Tendulkar has been struggling for some form, the England captain Alastair Cook kept on attacking him with pace-spin combination.
Anderson tested Tendulkar with some rising deliveries with one of them hitting his shoulder, while Panesar kept varying his line and pace.
Gambhir’s fine innings came to an end with a fine reflex catch at the slip by Jonathan Trott as he became Panesar’s second victim after Cheteshwar Pujara.
Kohli’s offered a regulation catch at the second slip to Graeme Swann as he edged one from Anderson with India in trouble at 136 for four.
But Yuvraj’s back-to-back boundaries — with one of them an elegant straight drive — off Swann brought the smiles back on Indian camp.
In the next over, Tendulkar too broke the shackles with consecutive boundaries off Anderson as he slowly looked like finding his silken touch back.
There was little help for the bowlers from the pitch as Virender Sehwag (23, 26b, 3×4) gave India a rollicking start.
Electing to bat, India raced to 47 in the 11th over with Sehwag (23) and Gambhir giving a fine start to the home side on a flat wicket.
But Sehwag’s fine innings was cut short when Gambhir ran the former out with a poor call.
There was little help for the bowlers from the pitch as the ball stayed on driving height.
It was no surprise that Cook introduced spin in the eighth over of the innings when left-arm tweaker Monty Panesar replaced Steven Finn, who conceded 16 runs from his three-over first spell.
The tall Finn made a comeback in the side after recovering from a thigh injury that had forced him out of the first two Tests.
England made one more change in the batting line-up with Ian Bell replacing Jonny Bairstow.
Tendulkar walked in just a quarter hour before lunch when Pujara was beaten by a Panesar wrong one that crashed into the youngster’s middle stump.
Brief Scores: India 172 for 4 (Gautam Gambhir 60, Sachin Tendulkar 46*; Monty Panesar 2 for 42, James Anderson 1 for 50) vs England