Sachin Tendulkar [ Images ] closed in on yet another double hundred, as India [ Images ] piled on the runs against Australia [ Images ] in the second Test at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore on Monday.
At stumps, on day three (after 122 overs), the home team had amassed 435 for five, just 43 runs adrift of Australia's first innings total.
Play was called off because of bad light for the third successive day with three overs left to be bowled.
Tendulkar was unbeaten?on a superlative 191. Giving him company was captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni [ Images ], on 11.
Tendulkar's 319-ball knock was inclusive of 20 hits to the fence and two over it.
The Master Blaster, having become the first batsman in Test history to surpass 14,000 runs (when on 27) a day earlier, reached his 49th Test ton before lunch with a six off Nathan Hauritz [ Images ]. It was his first century?in Bangalore in 12 years and he ensured it was an occasion to remember.
Success was certainly sweet for the legend, who?missed out on a hundred in the opening Test at Mohali, getting out on 98 in the first innings.
Tendulkar didn't stop there. He closed in on a double hundred, his aggressive innings regaling a vociferous crowd that?kept chanting his name throughout the day.
In the course of his innings, Tendulkar also became the contemporary batsman with the highest Test average.
Mitchell Johnson [ Images ], with figures of three for 89, was the best bowler in what was otherwise a vapid Australian bowling performance.
And spare a thought for Hauritz. The young spinner's figures for the innings read: 39-4-153-0, thereby making him the 70th Australian bowler to concede 100 or more runs in an innings against India.
Only two have conceded more than 200 -- Jason Krejza [ Images ] in Nagpur and Brett Lee [ Images ] in Sydney [ Images ]. And, if India continues to bat the way they did on day three, it won't take long for Hauritz to join the ranks.
The home team, replying to Australia's mammoth first innings score of 478, began the day on 128 for two (in 34.2 overs), on a wicket that was self-admittedly "deteriorating".
By the time the day's play ended, the wicket looked anything but deteriorating. It in fact looked much easier to bat on that it had been on the opening day.
Morning session: (96 runs, 26.4 overs, no wickets)
Tendulkar registered his 49th Test ton and, along with Vijay, frustrated the Australian bowlers in the opening session.
Hauritz opened the bowling, finishing the four balls he had to bowl when play was called off on day two.
Tendulkar hit the day's first ball to the fence and repeated the feat two balls later, the latter enabling him register his 58th Test fifty, his 13th against the team from Down Under. It also meant that the ace batsman had 50-plus scores in his last 10 matches.
Vijay opened his account for the day with a square drive to point boundary in the next over bowled by Johnson. The shot also helped bring about the 100-run partnership for the third wicket.
Vijay was fortunate when he survived a run-out attempt (when on 49), as Hauritz's throw was wide.
Tendulkar, meanwhile, hit successive boundaries off Johnson to help India cross the 150-run mark.
Vijay reached his third Test fifty with a single off Hilfenhaus.
And as the partnership went from strength to strength, Australia's woes increased, Tendulkar helping India get past the 200-run mark with a sweetly-timed cover drive off Hauritz.
He got to 99 with a massive six to long-on off Hauritz. And then reached yet another hundred with another six off the same bowler, again over long-on.
After 61 overs (at lunch), the home team was 224 for two. Tendulkar was unbeaten on 106 and Vijay on 73.
Post-lunch session: (90 runs, 30 overs, no wickets)
Consolidation was the mantra for India in the second session. Having dominated the opening session, the Indian duo palpably looked to build on their innings.
Vijay began proceedings with a boundary off Hilfenhaus, off the second ball after resumption. He survived a loud leg before appeal three balls later.
And then stepped up the gear against Hauritz, driving him through the covers. Two balls later, he hit a straight six, thereby bringing up the 200-run stand for the third wicket. It was the highest ever partnership for the wicket for India against Australia.
When on 116, Tendulkar also completed 3000 Test runs against Australia, thereby becoming only the third batsman - after Jack Hobbes (3636) and David Gower (3269) to acheive the feat.
Vijay registered his maiden Test hundred soon after. The Tamil Nadu batsman, who had missed out on the feat against Sri Lanka [ Images ] at the Brabourne last year (out for 87 then), ensured he didn't falter the second time.
After 91 overs (at tea), the home team had amassed?314 for two.
Post-tea session: (120 runs, 29 overs, 3 wickets)
The third session was without doubt the best from Australia's point of view. Having said that, it wasn't a bad one for the home team either.
Tendulkar surpassed the 150-run mark soon after tea. In doing so he pocketed yet another record: of most 150-plus scores in Test cricket.
A boundary over backward point off Vijay's blade brought forth the 300-run partnership. However, the batsman was dismissed soon after.
In fact Johnson provided Australia a twin, much-needed, breakthrough. The left-arm quick had first had Vijay (139) caught behind. The youngster's 310-ball knock was inclusive of 14 hits to the fence and two over it.
The third wicket partnership between Tendulkar and Vijay yielded India a record 308 runs, the second best third-wicket partnership by any team against Australia. And his dismissal brought to the crease debutant Cheteshwar Pujara [ Images ] (4).
However, the young Saurashtra player, who had to wait for years for his debut, lasted just three balls.
Pujara defended the first ball he faced; off the second he got a boundary with a fluent cover drive, and off the third was trapped leg before.
Johnson had struck twice in an over, and after being ineffective in the opening two spells, his third spell made for an interesting read: 7-0-22-2.
In came Suresh Raina [ Images ] (32), and he warmed up with two pull shots of Hilfenhaus, both finding their way to the backward square-leg fence. And when Johnson replaced Hilfenhaus, the treatment was similar: two boundaries, both through the midwicket on this occasion.
However, the introduction of Michael Clarke [ Images ] ensured Raina's wicket, the part-timer having the batsman caught by Hilfenhaus at mid-on.
Raina though put on 61 runs for the fifth wicket with Tendulkar, a partnership that helped India get closer to the Australian total.