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Sachin, Vijay put India on top

Less people talk about the Master, the more viscous he becomes. If surpassing 14000 runs in Test cricket was a cakewalk for Sachin Tendulkar yesterday, the third day saw the Little Master tantalisingly close to another double century. 9 runs is the wait for Sachin and the whole country for that double. But long before that Sachin brought up his 49th Test ton in style, much like Sehwag. Two huge 6s took him past the three figure mark, probably signaling his confidence level in the nervous 90s. The double blow intensified Sachin's intentions of staying at the wicket.

Murali Vijay, on the other hand, matched Sachin with his intentions to curve a partnership. Surviving a close leg before call, Vijay notched up his maiden century to provide ample proof of his maturity at this level. A deficit of 43 runs remained the difference between India and Australia. But more than the deficit, it was the surplus of 300 plus between Sachin and Vijay that caught the attention of the cricketing world. It was a partnership that not only saved India, but also showed the temperament and the grit the Indian batsmen carried in this test match.

Less people talk about the Master, the more viscous he becomes. If surpassing 14000 runs in Test cricket was a cakewalk for Sachin Tendulkar yesterday, the third day saw the Little Master tantalisingly close to another double century. 9 runs is the wait for Sachin and the whole country for that double. But long before that Sachin brought up his 49th Test ton in style, much like Sehwag. Two huge 6s took him past the three figure mark, probably signaling his confidence level in the nervous 90s. The double blow intensified Sachin's intentions of staying at the wicket.

Murali Vijay, on the other hand, matched Sachin with his intentions to curve a partnership. Surviving a close leg before call, Vijay notched up his maiden century to provide ample proof of his maturity at this level. A deficit of 43 runs remained the difference between India and Australia. But more than the deficit, it was the surplus of 300 plus between Sachin and Vijay that caught the attention of the cricketing world. It was a partnership that not only saved India, but also showed the temperament and the grit the Indian batsmen carried in this test match.

Vijay deserved a special mention in this partnership as he allowed his senior partner to take charge and played the second fiddle role from time to time. The slowness of the wicket made stroke making difficult. But Vijay showed immense patience to hang in there. That's the biggest achievement for India.

Stealthily India achieved another strategical victory in this Test match - batting their first innings well into the fourth day. Strategically, if India can ensure a lead of around 150 by the lunch and tea session on the fourth day, the Australians will be under tremendous pressure against Indian spinners on a wicket turning. Gaining the lead is crucial here and that's where Sachin remains the indefatigable man of the moment for India.

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