New Delhi:Genius batsman Sachin Tendulkar's sturdy century took India's score to 311 runs for the loss of five wickets at the close of first day's play in Nagpur.
Unstoppable Tendulkar, riding on his luck, slammed 40th hundred of his Test career. He got two lives when he was dropped by Mitchell Johnson and Brett Lee off debutant Jason Krejza. He made most of the opportunities and got to the three-figure mark. With this ton, he has 82 international centuries (40 in Tests, 42 in ODIs) to his name. This was also his 10th Test hundred against Australia. Johnson, however, avenged his fielding lapse and caught him plumb for 109 runs.
Tendulkar came to the crease after Dravid went without scoring and India were tottering at 99 for 2. He along with VVS Laxman added 146 runs for the fourth wicket and 41 runs with Sourav Ganguly (27*), who is playing his last Test, for the fifth wicket to steady the innings.
Australian off-spinner Krejza made an impressive Test debut as he picked three crucial Indian wickets. After dismissing Rahul Dravid and Virender Sehwag in the first session, he removed VVS Laxman for 64 runs. Laxman, who became eighth Indian cricketer to play 100 Tests, slammed 37th Test fifty before Haddin caught him behind the wicket.
Dravid's dry run continued as he was done in by the extra bounce. Krejza pitched it just outside the off-stump; the ball came back in and Dravid punched it to Simon Katich at short leg for a zilch.
Sehwag raised 16th Test fifty, his 6th against the world champions, in no time. He hit nine 4s and one 6 to make 66 runs before Krejza struck again. The ball turned in from outside the off-stump and clipped the bails before taking an inside edge of Sehwag's bat.
Earlier after electing to bat, Indian openers Sehwag and M. Vijay exploited the conditions well and added 98 runs for the first wicket when the latter nicked a short delivery from Shane Watson and was caught behind for 33 runs.
MS Dhoni-led India are leading the series 1-0. A win will clinch India the series. However, if Australia win this match, they will retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy for the third consecutive time.
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Captain), Murali Vijay, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma.
Australia: Ricky Ponting (Captain), Matthew Hayden, Simon Katich, Michael Hussey, Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, Brad Haddin (wk), Cameron White, Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson, Jason Krejza.