Despite Sachin Tendulkar’s early dismissal, fans reserve their loudest cheer for the maestro. Fans waved the tricolour to greet the champion batsman

The heat was on the spectators literally as they patiently waited for almost five sessions anticipating a batting special from maestro Sachin Tendulkar braving the sweltering conditions.

The fans roared in unison when he finally walked to the middle after a 370-run stand between Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara was eventually broken, on the third day of the second Test match against Australia at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here on Monday.

Excited crowd

The loud cheer when Sachin went into bat 24 minutes before lunch was deafening. Fans waved the tricolour to greet the champion batsman. His walk to the middle was as always confident and it was accompanied by a little limbering up on the way.

There was a vast majority which strongly believed it could be Sachin’s last Test appearance in Hyderabad – where he had scored three one-day centuries, the most memorable being the magnificent 175 against the Australians under lights, albeit for a lost cause, in 2009.

High expectations

Soon Sachin walked across to hug Pujara when the latter completed his second double century in Tests.

When Sachin went with Kohli into the lunch break with India 400 for three, the stage was perfect for the Mumbai genius and expectations ran high.

And, when he caressed a ball from James Pattinson to the third-man fence for his first four, the crowd went wild.

But, within a few minutes, there was drama as Sachin was declared caught behind when the appeal was referred to the third umpire. There was stunned silence all round.

Yet, the cheers he got as he walked back to the pavilion resembled that of a century scorer.

“The God of cricket has disappointed us. But we just pray, he will come out in the second innings once again,” exclaimed Basetti Shiva Prasad who had come again today only to see Sachin bat.

He was only echoing the majority opinion of the 22,473 crowd.

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