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James Anderson led England attack with three wickets. – File photo by AP
James Anderson led England attack with three wickets. – File photo by AP

Sachin Tendulkar overcame a dry patch to score his first half-century in 12 innings and give India some stability to close the opening day of the third Test at 273-7 in Kolkata on Wednesday.

Tendulkar was the top-scorer for India, with 76, after MS Dhoni won the toss and chose to bat on a much-discussed pitch, which didn’t turn out to be the “rank turner” it was expected to be.

James Anderson led the England attack with strong support from Monty Panesar, who was the pick of English bowlers in the last Test. Anderson displayed excellent control and swing mastery to take three wickets, including the crucial ones of Tendulkar and Virat Kohli.

However, it wasn’t before opener Gautam Gambhir scored his second consecutive half-century of the series to give India a strong start, along with Virender Sehwag (23), while also contributing to Sehwag’s run out in the 11th over.

Gambhir then found momentary support from Cheteshwar Pujara (16), before the 24-year-old was clean bowled by Panesar and leave India wobbling at 88-2. In came Tendulkar to a raucous welcome from the Eden Gardens crowd.

Tendulkar started slowly and cautiously before going on to attack the England bowlers and rebuilt the Indian innings with Yuvraj Singh after Gambhir’s (60) dismissal in the 42nd over and Kohli’s departure for six runs in the 49th.

Yuvraj hit a trademark six straight down the ground to Panesar and four boundaries in his 32-run innings before going away in soft dismissal with a catch on extra cover off Graeme Swann.

Tendulkar brought up his half-century with two consecutive fours off Steve Finn in the 59th over but wasn’t able to bring up his 101st international hundred thanks to a low catch by wicketkeeper Matt Prior off Anderson.

It was down to captain Dhoni (22*) and Ravichandran Ashwin to negotiate the remaining overs but Ashwin (21), too, fell to Anderson to leave India reeling at the end of the day.

Anderson finished the day with figures of 3-68 from his 21 overs, bowling five maidens, while Panesar took two for 72 in his 34 overs. Swann took one wicket for 46 runs in his 14 overs while Steve Finn went wicketless in 20 overs, giving away 65 runs.

Comments (19) Closed

Sajjad Dec 05, 2012 03:35pm
Tendulkar is paying the price of raising the stature of the game, any score above 40 could be called as returning to form, cautious start than what a big deal , it is test cricket!. Remember golden days Asif Mujtaba 55 odd runs on 350balls or something similar. .
Ahmad - Aus Dec 05, 2012 02:12pm
well done Tendulakar, your good innings makes sure always that india loses... keep scoring runs mate so India keeps losing...ha ha ha, time to go buddy and raise your grand are such a loser!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
nayyar51 Dec 05, 2012 02:19pm
Without taking any credit from the great batsmen of India, those who know cricket, will vouch that Tendulkar batted very very precariously; and looked a shadow of his glorious past.
Concerned Citizen Dec 05, 2012 03:18pm
Yes and to add, on a feather-bed of a wicket with low bounce, ideal for easy shot making.
HH Dec 05, 2012 01:35pm
a laborious painstaking innings of 76 is not considered as "coming back to form". its time for him to go.
Mukesh Dec 05, 2012 04:06pm
too late, too little
Dinesh Dec 05, 2012 04:17pm
If a "labourious" innings of 76 is not exactly coming back to form, is Kohli's "quickfire" 6 off 24 balls or a "diligent" 16 from 48 deliveries off Pujara's bat, representative of that?
ch.subba rao Dec 05, 2012 04:18pm
Tendulkar was woefully out of form and his reflexes slowed down drastically.better to retire early
PAATCHU Dec 05, 2012 04:47pm
Yea.. Sajjad..those days in ODI i still remember 10 overs 45 for 2 wickets was considered a modest one!. How things changed
PAATCHU Dec 05, 2012 04:49pm
Have you ever played cricket?..Atleast with your grand children?..
kash Dec 05, 2012 04:51pm
No charm or entertainment left in tendulkar's play....Again further 10 more boring tests with T'kar to cricket fans , because of this half century
Hindu Dec 05, 2012 05:34pm
70 plus runs by tendulkar that means he could stay 3 more years in Indian team.
Yup It's True Dec 05, 2012 05:38pm
Still rated higher than the pakistani best cricketers like Inzamam, Imran, Waqar, Zaheer Abbas..etc by the whole world.. So FAIL...
azhar Dec 05, 2012 07:34pm
each and every single part of his body does not allow him to leave the game of cricket, he loves cricket more than his own life and familly so we all salute to this legendry player. today 76 runs inning has proved that he is still an important part of the indian team ,, so plzz kindly dont criticize him and let him play as long as he feels that he can play a role for india anyhow who knows better than him that when he has to leave cricket,,,
skeptic Dec 05, 2012 10:00pm
good to see Tendulkar score some important runs. i think the preasure this guy plays under it's quite remarkable that he has performed at such a high level for so long. he is a great batsmen and i hope he retires in a manner suitable to his stature. i also hope India beats England other wise it's not good for the sub continent cricket at large.
suresh k Dec 06, 2012 01:10am
when elephant walks across the streets, dogs do bark.
Ratnesh Jachak, INDIA Dec 06, 2012 02:35am
I runs in think u forgot his inning of 98 runs in 75 balls in world cup 2003 aginst pakistan when Wasim Waqar & Shohaib all were playing
Syed Dec 06, 2012 11:52am
Media and fans have put Sachin on a place where he himself find difficult to come down. It has become so obvoius that his reflexes and foot work are not what they used to be. The person whose gonna replace him has so much work to do. On the other side in Australia their are two replacements available of Ponting, Hughes and Khawaja competing on their performace to get their berth in Australian team
Neo Dec 06, 2012 03:28pm
can hear the sound of agony and pain in you each and every time he scores a good knock....ok i see fire coming out too ;)