The master crafts one more gem

The master crafts  one more gem

On day three of the second Test against Australia, the little man was in his elements, crafting a mesmeric unbeaten 191 that drove Ricky Ponting’s men to their knees.
Desperately needing to win this match to square the series, Australia had reason to believe they were on the right track on Sunday afternoon when, after piling up 478, they reduced India to 38 for two. That brought Tendulkar to the middle, and how the Test has turned since!

At stumps on the third day, India had rocketed to 435 for five, only 43 behind, and while the destination of this game is far from obvious, there is no doubting who is responsible for the current state of affairs.

To suggest that there was an air of inevitability about Tendulkar’s 49th hundred from the moment he took guard on Sunday afternoon will at once be an exaggeration and disrespectful of the glorious uncertainties of cricket, but it was hard to miss the steel in his eyes.

A casual waft had denied him a century in the Mohali Test, but the master wasn’t going to disappoint his legion of fans again. With clarity of purpose, surety of feet and decisiveness in his movements, Tendulkar has offered the Australians nary a chance during his mastery eight-hour composition that has taken him to within nine runs of a sixth Test double hundred. Already, he has more scores of 150-plus (20) than anyone else in Test history; a double ton, and beyond, in the match in which he became the first man to top 14,000 Test runs will be the perfect icing on the cake.

Batting with Tendulkar brings the best out of his partners. Murali Vijay, who has played all his eight Tests as a replacement, associated himself in a triple-century stand with the virtuoso, along the way bringing up his maiden Test hundred as it rained runs at the Chinnaswamy. Tendulkar’s continued presence holds the promise of a torrent on the morrow.

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