Sachin Tendulkar gave glimpses of his vintage form but the record 100th international century continued to elude him as India responded with a strong batting display to keep the first cricket Test against Australia on an even keel here today.
After dismissing Australia for 333 in the first innings, Indians rode on useful contributions from most of the top-order batsmen to reach 214 for three at close on the second day.
Siddle celebrates after grabbing Tendulkar's wicket.PIC/AFP
Tendulkar who looked fluent during his innings of 73 was done in by a beauty from Peter Siddle. The delivery cut back sharply at a scorching pace as the senior pro tried to reach for a drive only to be bowled through the gate.
He hit eight boundaries and a six off Siddle with his trademark upper cut over third-man region.
The foundation of India's reply was a solid 117-run third wicket partnership between Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid (68 batting) after opener Virender Sehwag smashed a quickfire 67 after being dropped twice on 54 and 58 respectively.
Australians were also unlucky as a Siddle in-dipper breached Dravid's defences but the TV replays confirmed that the speedster had bowled a no-ball.
Dravid was batting on 65 then and the team's score was 202 for two. Only Gautam Gambhir (3) failed among the top four as he was done in by the awkward bounce and away movement generated by Ben Hilfenhaus.
Earlier Australia, resuming at their overnight score of 277 for 6, were all out for 333, half an hour before lunch break with Zaheer Khan (4 for 77), Umesh Yadav (3 for 106) and Ravichandran Ashwin (3 for 81) sharing the spoils.
Scorecard after the second day of the first Test between Australia and India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Tuesday.
Australia 1st innings (overnight 277 for 6)
E. Cowan c Dhoni b Ashwin 68
D. Warner c Dhoni b Yadav 37
S. Marsh c Kohli b Yadav 0
R. Ponting c Laxman b Yadav 62
M. Clarke b Zaheer Khan 31
M. Hussey c Dhoni b Zaheer Khan 0
B. Haddin c Sehwag b Zaheer Khan 27
P. Siddle c Dhoni b Zaheer Khan 41
J. Pattinson not out 18
B. Hilfenhaus c Kohli b Ashwin 19
N. Lyon b Ashwin 6
Extras (lb21 w2 nb1) 24
Total (all out; 110 overs) 333
Fall of wickets: 1-46 (Warner), 2-46 (Marsh), 3-159 (Ponting), 4-205 (Clarke), 5-205 (Hussey), 6-214 (Cowan), 7-286 (Haddin), 8-291 (Siddle), 9-318 (Hilfenhaus), 10-333 (Lyon)
Bowling: Zaheer Khan 31-6-77-4 (1w, 1nb), Sharma 24-7-48-0, Yadav 26-5-106-3 (1w), Ashwin 29-3-81-3
India 1st innings
G. Gambhir c Haddin b Hilfenhaus 3
V. Sehwag b Pattinson 67
R. Dravid not out 68
S. Tendulkar b Siddle 73
I. Sharma not out 0
Extras (w1, nb2) 3
Total (for 3 wkts; 65 overs) 214
Fall of wickets: 1-22 (Gambhir), 2-97 (Sehwag), 3-214 (Tendulkar)
Bowling: Pattinson 15-3-35-1 (1w), Hilfenhaus 14-1-50-1 (1nb), Siddle 15-2-53-1 (1nb), Lyon 14-2-53-0, Hussey 5-0-15-0, Warner 2-0-8-0
Umpires: Ian Gould (ENG), Marais Erasmus (RSA)
Third umpire: Paul Reiffel (AUS)
Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI)