24 Feb 2013

Tendulkar keeps Indian hopes alive

8:51 am on 24 February 2013

Australia pace bowler James Pattinson believes reverse swing will be the key to taking early wickets against India on the third day of the first Test on a crumbling Chennai pitch.

Sachin Tendulkar will resume day 3 on 71 and Test cricket's leading runscorer has added 77 for the fourth wicket with Virat Kohli (50 not out) after India had been 3-105 in reply to Australia's first innings of 380.

The 39-year-old Tendulkar is closing in on his first Test hundred in more than two years.

He had luck on 37 when a close lbw appeal from offspinner Nathan Lyon's bowling was turned down after the right-hander played no shot.

Lyon (0-55 off 14 overs) has posed few problems for India's middle order while Pattinson has led the attack with 3-25 from six overs in his first Test since breaking down with a side injury in November.

Pattinson said several deliveries had "gone reverse" in the first two or three overs of India's innings and the pitch's variable bounce was another factor the visitors were keen to exploit.

Australia resumed on 7-316 and were bowled out for 380 on day 2 after skipper Michael Clarke had advanced from his overnight total of 103 to 130.

The 31-year-old's score is the highest by an Australia captain in a Test innings in India, beating Ricky Ponting's 123 in Bangalore in 2008.