Chennai: They streamed through the turnstiles in the morning with the intention of watching Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli, the past and the future of Indian batsmanship. By day's end, the thousands at Chepauk were on their feet to applaud MS Dhoni, the present captain, whose stunning unbeaten 206 gave India a stranglehold on this game. With two days left to play, India were 515 for 8, a lead of 135.
The numbers were incredible enough - 243 balls faced, 22 fours and five sixes. But they didn't convey the majesty of an innings that utterly transformed the match. A measure of Dhoni's final-session domination can be found from his partnership with Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The pushed single to short third man that got him to his first double-century also raised the hundred partnership. Bhuvneshwar's contribution was 13.
Dhoni's virtuoso display also obscured a superb innings earlier in the day. Tendulkar may have added only 10 to his overnight 71, but Kohli followed up his Nagpur hundred against England with a classy 107. His 128-run partnership with Dhoni gave India the initiative, though he didn't stay at the crease long enough to see his captain hammer it home.