Bangalore, Oct 10: India started off shakily but Sachin Tendulkar scaled a new peak crossing 14,000 runs in Test cricket and steadied the hosts' innings against a massive Australian score of 478, at stumps, on the second day, of the second and final Test match at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here today.
Courtesy an unbroken 90-run third wicket stand between Tendulkar (44 batting, 88 balls, 6x4)and opener Murali Vijay (42 batting, 83 balls, 4x4, 1x6), India were 128 for two when play was stopped after 34.2 overs.
Tendulkar's feat was watched by a packed Chinnaswamy stadium crowd and the maestro got a standing ovation from all present in the stadium. Australian captain, Ricky Ponting is remains Tendulkar's nearest rival but the Aussie is still behind by 1822 runs.
Ponting, was one of the first among the opposition players to come up and congratulate Tendulkar for his achievement.
Today, Tendulkar also became the highest run getter among batsmen who played Test matches at Chinnaswamy Stadium scoring in excess of 600 runs thus eclipsing Sunil Gavaskar's total.
Compared to both Virender Sehwag and Rahul David, Tendulkar was more composed and not perturbed but went about his job in his inimitable style.
Tendulkar reached the milestone, when he punched off-spinner Nathan Hauritz through the cover point region. He looked in good touch throughout his innings today.
Opener Sehwag, a prolific batsmen aggressive methods of counter attack did not work to his advantage and Dravid was done in by left arm pacer Johnson. Dravid has been dismissed six times by left-arm bowlers during the past season.
The start for the Indian reply to Australia s huge first innings total of 478 was shaky as Sehwag survived two run-out chances.
Ponting, had set plans to tackle and restrain the swashbuckling Sehwag, who has scores of 50 plus in his last 11 Test matches.
But, the new ball bowlers, Hilfenhaus and Johnson were irritating him with bouncers and time and again, Sehwag had to duck himself avoiding a hit by the ball.
Sehwag was in punishing mood and with his partner Vijay attempted cheeky singles often to put the Australians in disarray but survived the risk of getting run out.
On both the occasions, it was Vijay who should be blamed for making wrong calls.
Noticing that Sehwag was time and again eyeing on the mid-wicket region, Ponting brought in two fielders on the deep and long and both the new ball bowlers responded to captain's decision.
On one occasion, Sehwag, who was hit on his helmet by a Hilfenhaus delivery tried to pull one only to be holed out in deep by Johnson. Sehwag hit four boundaries and a delectable six in his 30 from 28 balls.
With Dravid walking in and egged on by vociferous crowd, the local hero did not stay for long. He was middling the ball well but was tentative against Johnson and finally fell chasing an outside the off stump delivery and edged to Marcus North at the slips.
Earlier, Australia posted their highest ever total of 478 at the Chinnaswamy stadium surpassing the earlier best of 474 in 2004. PTI RE KHS
Indian bowlers, especially the spinners toiled for about 55 overs since morning today to claim five wickets after the visitors made 285 for 5 overnight.
Pragyan Ojha and Harbhajan claimed couple of wickets, while Cheteshwar Pujara accounted for a run out.
Harbhajan had the best figures of four for 148 and Ojha had three for 120.
Zaheer Khan and Suresh Raina claimed a wicket each. During the post lunch session, Marcus North (128) was more aggressive and seen stepping out to play his shots.
North and other overnight not out batsman Tim Paine played well in the first session today.
However, the Indian spinners were also equal to the task and broke the pair. Paine was lucky to have been recalled after being given out of a no ball from Sreesanth. But, Paine stayed only for couple of overs as he was stumped by Mahendra Singh Dhoni of Ojha.
Paine made a valuable 59 runs (133b,8X4) and his stand with North yielded 149 runs for the sixth wicket in 181 minutes of 255 balls.
Paine and North stayed at the wicket together for 181 minutes and their stand yielded 149 runs off 255 balls. North reached his century facing 179 balls but he too left after making 128.
North, who had occupied the crease for 335 minutes and hit 17 fours and a six.
Mitchell Johnson failed to open his account, Hauritz (17, 2 X 4) and debutant Peter George made two.
Fast bowler, Ben Hilfenhaus remained unbeaten on 16 (2 X 4, 1 X 6). PTI