Going into the third day, the Chennai Test is intriguingly poised. The Test has already produced some memorable performances and more is in store as the game unfolds.

The Indian hopes rest, not for the first time, on the battle-hardened shoulders of Sachin Tendulkar and his able lieutenant Virat Kohli.

It’s been a while since Sachin batted with such fluency and authority in Tests; to watch him take on and conquer a quality Australian attack was an absolute treat.

He looked in sublime touch right from the word go, timing the ball beautifully, getting into wonderful positions and showing positive intent.

Kohli wasn’t far behind, batting with a maturity beyond his years and visibly growing in confidence as he spent time in Sachin’s company. Before Sachin stamped his class, the two stand-out performers were Michael Clarke and Ashwin. Clarke was quite outstanding, using his feet beautifully, or going deep into his crease to negate the turning ball.

Since taking over the captaincy from Ricky Ponting, he has scored tons of runs and this was another captain’s knock.. No praise can be too high for the manner in which Ashwin bowled.

He wasn’t at his best against England, but he has been spot-on in this Test. What caught the eye was his consistency in line and length. He stuck to the off-spinner’s line, and to the basics to reap handsome rewards.

Nothing gives you more joy than performing in front of home fans; so this five-wicket haul will always be special for Ashwin.

India made a mistake in leaving out Pragyan Ojha, the most successful bowler against England. If Harbhajan had to be included, it should have been at Bhuvneshwar’s expense, especially in Chennai on a pitch that is rough, playing slow and aiding turn. — 360 Corporate Relations

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