After a hard fought day of gripping cricket, the test is set up in a most intriguing manner. India has runs on the board, and England has to bat last -- and it is anyone's guess how the wicket will behave.
If the Eden track eases out, as it often does, then England could make the best of the conditions on offer and make India sweat. But if it crumbles and spins more than today then England have a task on their hands.
Today, on day 1, the focus was more on SRT than the game. Till now the great man was out of sorts, divorced from batting form, and this sudden fall became a national debate. With all manner of opinions swirling in the air, some non-believers even asked rude questions about his future.
Faced by this strange situation, because the man has only experienced interrupted success for more than two decades, all eyes were on him when he walked out to the middle.
He appeared the usual calm, stoic self, in control of his emotions, the trademark determined look on his face very much in place .Initially the batting was far from vintage Tendulkar --he scratched, played and missed as balls flew past his bat. But it was not long before genius asserted himself, out came the punched hit off the backfoot, then the flowing cover drive.
Surely, this was not the best of SRT but, in the context of his recent contact with cricket mortality, a significant innings. Sachin battled for four hours to make tough runs, a fifty from a person from whom fans demand a hundred each time he marks a leg stump guard at the crease.
He has scored 34000 international runs, set hundreds of records. Today's knock confirms there is no let up in his appetite to carry on, there is more to come....... Batting abhi baaki hai!
Sidelight: Monty Panesar bowled more overs in one day today (35) than a bowler bowls in 6 weeks of the IPL!
Note: The author's views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of NDTV.
Story first published on: Wednesday, 05 December 2012 19:27 IST