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'When Sachin plays, the whole of India watches'

October 11, 2010 19:18 IST

- Scorecard | Images from Day 3

It was more than the Indian team could have asked for. The third day of the second Test against Australia, that is.

Having dominated play for two full sessions and half of the third, the home team was just 43 runs adrift of the visitor's first innings total at stumps.

And it was not surprising to see one man standing tall even as play was called off with three overs still left to play.

Sachin Tendulkar, who else?

Sachin TendulkarThe Master Blaster was unbeaten on 191 at stumps, and the first thing that will make the headlines on the fourth morning, on Tuesday, will be yet another double hundred from his blade, if all goes well.

On the third day, though, the legend had done enough to enhance his reputation.

Resuming at 44, having surpassed the 14, 000 Test runs mark a day earlier, Tendulkar not only registered his 49th Test hundred but also was involved in a record third-wicket stand of 308 runs with Murali Vijay (139) -- a partnership that built the foundation of the Indian innings.

Also, during the day, the Master Blaster became only the third batsman ever -- after Jack Hobbs and David Gower -- to record 3, 000 Test runs against Australia while also ensuring his average becomes the best among contemporary cricketers.

And during all effort he had a vociferous crowd cheering every shot off his blade, applauding every landmark he reached.

Come Tuesday, the crowd will expect him to score yet another double.

"The whole India watches him when he is playing, that is the attention he gets," explained Pragyan Ojha, adding, "It's just not the case in India but wherever cricket is played."

The young left-arm spinner was palpably at a loss for words to describe the legend. However, he mustered enough to make one final statement.

"The way he is playing, I wish he gets a triple hundred tomorrow," said Ojha. Considering a triple is something Tendulkar is yet to register in his 171 Tests thus far, it would be interesting to see how his innings pans out on day four.

Ojha though was certain about one thing. And that was regarding his team's chances in the Test.

"If we take the lead, say of 150-200 runs, the Australians will be in two minds, to attack or play out the day," he reasoned, adding, "And that will put them under pressure."

Bikash Mohapatra in Bangalore
Tags: India