Adelaide, Jan.24 : Sachin Tendulkar could not have scripted a better swansong from Australia in cricket terms. On Thursday, Tendulkar scored his 39th Test ton at the Adelaide Oval, putting India in the driver's seat after the team had lost its way during the post-lunch session thanks to a brilliant spell of bowling by Brett Lee.
Tendulkar's 126-run partnership with V V S Laxman wrested the initiative from the Kangaroos. The Indian batting maestro walked out just before lunch following the dismissal of Dravid and took 18 balls to get off the mark. Thereafter, he was in rampant mood. He took just 77 balls to score his half-century and another 56 to reach his century with ten fours and three sixes.
Laxman played the waiting game, but managed to score another half-century in the current series before taking his eyes of a Lee bouncer that resulted in gloving the ball to Gilchrist.
The bowlers of the day for Australia was left-arm pacer Mitchell Johnson, who snared Irfan Pathan (caught behind for 9) and Rahul Dravid (caught by Ponting at slip for 18), and Brett Lee, who claimed Virender Sehwag (63 with nine boundaries) and V.V.S. Laxman (51 with five boundaries). Left-arm spinner Bradd Hogg claimed a dubious leg before against in-form Sourav Ganguly. India were 309 for 5 at the close of the first day's play.
Meanwhile, Indian skipper Anil Kumble believes a legacy can be created at the Adelaide Oval over the next five days for future Indian teams to achieve what this one could not: an elusive series victory on Australian soil.
"We haven't been able to achieve that, but at least we can go back with our head held high after this Test where we hope we will be able to level the series. And future Indian teams which come here will look at the performances of the past, and I'm sure they'll do what we could not achieve here. That is something which I am really proud of," Kumble said in article.
Australian skipper Ricky Ponting on the other hand said that his team has nothing to lose.
"Individuals rebounding from personal failures is always a good [way to] judge the character of an individual, so I guess the same can be said of a team. That is what I said to the guys this week. We were always going to lose a game at some stage on this terrific run that we were on, but it is about how you bounce back and how you actually back your own skills and talents as a result of a loss ... You will see us come out very aggressive and very positive and really try and force the issue in the game," Ponting said.