New Delhi:With the help of a flamboyant knock from Virender Sehwag and later some fighting ones from skipper MS Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh, India have placed themselves in a commanding position in the Nagpur Test. Australia bundled India for 295 runs in their second innings. With their first innings lead of 86 runs, India gave them a total of 382 runs to chase. Australia in reply finished the day with 13 runs without any loss.
Australian off-spinner Jason Krejza continued with his magical debut and picked four wickets on Sunday to take his match haul to twelve. After Shane Watson built inroads in the Indian batting line-up, Krejza took the baton and picked crucial wickets.
He cut short Sourav Ganguly's last Test appearance, who was dismissed soon after VVS Laxman. Ganguly, who retires from international cricket after this series, perished to a sensational return catch by Krejza and walked back without scoring. A banner in the VCA stand compared Ganguly's duck to Sir Don Bradman, who also had a zero against his name on his last visit in the middle. May be a bit over the top but it was an emotional moment for all Ganguly fans. No more silken drives from Ganguly's blade after this match.
Another batsman who failed to repeat his first innings show was Laxman. He was completely deceived by the Australian spin sensation. A flighted delivery, pitched on the rough outside the off stump, turned in sharply and knocked off his leg-stump.
MS Dhoni fell as Krejza's third victim. Dhoni added 108 runs with Harbhajan for the seventh wicket before Michael Hussey took a diving catch at silly point to send the Indian skipper back. Dhoni slammed 12th Test fifty, his fourth against Australia and steered his side out of trouble after India lost six wickets in the post-lunch session.
Sachin Tendulkar lost his wicket just before the tea as he was run out. He pushed one from Krejza to covers and ran for a single. Dhoni, at the other end, did not move and tried sending the maestro back but it was too late for the call. Tendulkar could add only 12 runs. With his wicket Australia made a sensational comeback and gave India some scares, but Dhoni kept his cool and squeezed runs from all round the park.
Harbhajan (52) supported his captain well and slammed sixth half-century, his fourth against the opponents from Down Under. He was removed by Watson. A ball came in late and sneaked between his bat and pad to hit the bails. Watson wrapped up the innings as he bowled Amit Mishra for 7 runs. Earlier, he picked two crucial wickets to give his side some respite in the second session.
He first removed opener M. Vijay for 41 runs. Vijay had consolidated India's lead in the second innings along with Sehwag, as the openers made 116 runs for the first wicket. Vijay, who made 33 in the first innings, missed out on his fifty in the second outing as he was caught plumb in front of the wicket.
Rahul Dravid was Watson's second victim. Poor form continued to haunt Dravid, as he nudged a delivery going outside the off stump with a hint of late swing and Haddin gloved it safely.
Australia's pace spearhead Brett Lee dismissed Virender Sehwag as the third Indian wicket. Sehwag slammed 17th fifty, his seventh against Australia. He missed his hundred as Lee, who had occasionally troubled the Indian opener with his length, got him for 92 runs. Persisting with fuller length for over a period, Lee teased Sehwag with a short ball going towards the leg-side. He nicked it and wicketkeeper Brad Haddin dived to take a good catch.
Match report: Day 1
Match report: Day 2
Match report: Day 3