A career-best maiden unbeaten double century by skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (206) has put India in the driving seat after day three of the first Test against Australia at MA Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday.
India made 515-8 in 141 overs at close on day three of the first Test continuing from their overnight 182-3 in reply to Australia's first innings total of 380.
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The hosts enjoy a first innings lead of 135 with two wickets in hand with skipper MS Dhoni unbeaten on a epoch-making knock of 206 off 243 balls.
Dhoni surpassed his previous highest of 148 made against Pakistan in 2006 during his amazing knock which contained 22 fours and five massive sixes so far.
He passed the milestone of 4,000 runs in Tests during his magnificent captain's innings.
It was an outstanding innings by the Indian wicket keeper batsman who flayed the Australian with a calculated assault to virtually single handedly swing the match in favour of India.
RECAP OF DAY TWO: TENDULKAR SPARKLES
Records tumbled galore under Dhoni's assault during the unbroken stand of 109 with Bhuvneshwar Kumar which is the highest ninth wicket parnership by India against Australia.
Dhoni's knock is the second highest by an Indian captain in Test surpassing Azharuddin, Gavaskar and MAK Pataudi on the way with Tendulkar's 217 being the highest.
It is also the highest knock by an Indian wicket keeper.
He delighted the Sunday crowd with an electrifying batting display as he scored boundaries almost at will and dictated the tempo of the Indian innings.
Coming in when Tendulkar was bowled by a drifter from Nathan Lyon for 81 and when the Australian bowlers were on top having given away just 21 runs in the first hour, Dhoni launched a ferocious counter attack to race to his half century of just 59 balls while his 100 came off 119 balls.
Dhoni's belligerent knock overshadowed Virat Kohli's fourth Test century and second against Australia as they pulverised the Australia especially during the hour after lunch after the second new ball was taken.
Kohli made 107 off 206 balls with 15 boundaries and a six having added 128 runs for the fifth wicket during which he also completed 1,000 Test runs.
Australia hit back either side of the tea interval by grabbing the wickets of Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh.
Jadeja was bowled without offering a stroke while Ashwin saw his stumps disturbed off an inside.
Dhoni who restrained himself batting with determination to get a crucial lead was dismayed to see Harbhajan Singh attempting a wild slog only to be bowled giving debutant Moises Henriques his first Test wicket.
The Indian skipper then took on the sole responsibility of providing them a significant lead by turning down singles to protect Bhuvneshwar and dealing mostly in boundaries.
Dhoni has slammed another boundary off Henriques over the non-striker's head to move to 204.
Dhoni scampers for a single by pushing Lyon to third man to complete his first ever double century off 231 balls which contained 21 fours and five sixes.
It also brought up the 100 partnership for the ninth wicket in 131 balls with Bhuvneshwar's contribution being 13.
Records are tumbling in the wake of Dhoni's assault surpassing Azharuddin's 192 which is the second highest by an Indian captain and is also the highest by an Indian wicket keeper.
The stand of 92 off 123 balls between Dhoni and Bhuvneshwar is also the highest ninth wicket partnership by India against Australia.
Dhoni is getting boundaries and singles almost at will with David Warner coming at the receiving end this time not only from the Indian skipper but also Bhuvneshwar Kumar who gets his first boundary.
Dhoni goes over long off this time for his fifth six and the second in the over from Lyon as he moves to 180.
Dhoni has hoisted Lyon with his trademark helicopter over midwicket for his fourth six with Henriques making a valiant attempt to catch it after the ball crossed the ropes.
Dhoni has swung Pattinson to the midwicket boundary to reach 167 which is the highest by an Indian captain against Australia surpassing Mohammad Azharuddin's 163 made in Calcutta in 1998.
Dhoni gets another boundary via misfield from Warner off Lyon to bring up the 50 partnership for the ninth wicket with Bhuvneshwar off 84 balls.
Dhoni hits another boundary off Pattinson to pass the 150-run mark off 185 balls which contained 18 boundaries and three sixes.
Pattinson returns to the attack but is lofted to the mid off fence by Dhoni who surpasses his career-best Test score of 148 made against Pakistan in 2006.
Dhoni is stepping on the gas hammering Lyon to the long off boundary as he retains much of the strike shielding Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Dhoni has suddenly launched into Lyon for a towering six over long on for his third six of the innings.
Dhoni has despatched a leg side bouncer from Henriques to the fine leg boundary as India stretch their lead to 33.
Dhoni is in a dilemma whether to attack or occupy the crease after being left high and dry with the soft dismissals of Jadeja, Ashwin and Harbhajan.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (0) survives as Ed Cowans nearly pulls off a stunning catch at forward short leg off Henriques while Clarke bowls a maiden to Dhoni.
Moises Henriques gets his first wicket in Test cricket bowling Harbhajan Singh who misses the line completely attempting a wild slog after making 11 off 31 balls.
Dhoni completes 4,000 Test runs in style when he hoists Lyon over long on for his second six to bring up the 400 of the Indian innings as well.
Harbhajan has dragged a ball pitched on the off from Lyon hoisting it over midwicket for a six while Dhoni also drives him straight down the ground as 13 runs come off that over.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni completes his sixth Test century and first against Australia by dancing down the track and lofting Peter Siddle over square leg for his 13th boundary.
His blistering century which came off just 119 balls also contained a six.
Lyon has struck in the first over after the tea interval bowling Ashwin who has played on to his pads and then going onto to hit the stumps while Harbhajan survives a confident leg before appeal.
Dhoni is unbeaten on 97 off 116 balls with 12 fours and a six while Ashwin has just come in after the dismissal of Jadeja shortly before the interval.
India trail by just nine runs as Australia fought back in the latter part of the afternoon session to break the dangerous 128-run partnership for the fifth wicket between Dhoni and Kohli.
The pair were in a rampant mood after lunch with the second new ball yielding 63 runs in the first 10 overs.
It was a productive session for India nevertheless with 108 runs coming off 26 overs for the loss of two wickets with Dhoni being in a belligerent mood scoring a run a ball before the fall of Kohli.
Australia have managed to curtail the Indian batsmen in the half hour before tea with Pattinson getting some reverse swing while Starc is also troubling the batsmen by changing angles.
Pattinson strikes again surprising Jadeja with a change of angle coming round the wicket and misjudging it completely to square shoulders and bowled without offering a stroke.
Jadeja departs for 16 off 45 bals with three boundaries having added 41 runs for the sixth wicket with Dhoni.
Pattinson has figures of four for 68 from 22 overs.
Dhoni (93) survives a confident leg before appeal off Pattinson who surprised the batsman with a change of pace and bowls a maiden.
Jadeja gets another boundary this time off Starc off an inside with the Australians pleading unsuccesfully for a leg before.
Jadeja square cuts Lyon for his second boundary as India close in on Australia's total of 380.
Ravindra Jadeja has opened his account by driving a juicy full toss from Lyon to the long on boundary.
Dhoni has pummelled the Australia attack despite the second new ball being taken as India trail by just 42 runs with the hour after lunch yielding 75 runs in just 13 overs for the loss of Kohli for 107.
The Indian skipper is unbeaten on 85 off 79 balls having slammed 12 boundaries and a six.
Lyon strikes on his return as Kohli slaps him straight to Starc who takes a high catch at mid on.
Kohli departs for 107 made off 206 balls with 15 boundaries and a six having added 128 runs for the fifth wicket.
Kohli has eased Pattinson to the long on boundary with exquisite timing as he approaches 1,000 runs in Test cricket.
The session after lunch has produced 50 runs without any loss in just 8.3 overs with eight boundaries and a six coming in six overs after the second new ball has been taken.
Dhoni is pulverising the Australia attack hoisting Henriques for a massive six into the stands and also smashes him for boundary to long on two balls later.
Kohli completes his fourth Test century and second against Australia by clipping Pattinson to long leg for his 14th boundary.
His century which came off 199 balls also contained a six.
Dhoni brings up the 100 partnership for the fifth wicket with Kohli off 106 balls with a third boundary off Starc in the same over.
Dhoni raced to his 29th Test fifty and sixth against Australia with two consecutive boundaries off Starc.
His belligerent half century which came off 58 balls contained seven boundaries.
Kohli has moved to 97 with an attempted yorker from Pattinson converted into a full toss and driven to the midwicket fence.
Kohli has edged Starc over the slip cordon for his 12th boundary to move into the 90s.
Dhoni has ripped into Pattinson's second delivery with the second new ball with a scorching cover drive for his fifth boundary.
Pattinson has been handed the second new ball with India 270-4 after 82 overs with Virat Kohli on 88.
Kohli has pulled Clarke to long on for the first boundary after the lunch interval.
Michael Clarke bowls the first over after lunch while Peter Siddle comes on from the other end with the second new ball due now.
Virat Kohli is unbeaten on 83 having faced 173 balls and hit 10 fours and a six.
MS Dhoni is with him on 37 off 42 balls wth four boundaries having added 67 runs in 95 balls.
India trail by 117 runs with six wickets in hand having lost Sachin Tendulkar for 81 bowled by off spinner Nathan Lyon.
The Indian batsmen were circumspect during the first hour of play which produced just 21 runs off 15 overs as Lyon in particular exploited the rough patches while Pattinson tested them with short pitched stuff.
But India's approached changed withb the arrival of Dhoni in the middle as he batted with natural aggression as the next hour yielded 60 runs in 14 overs without any loss of wicket.
Australia skipper Michael Clarke in desperation rang in the changes but Pattinson who grabbed three wickets in his first two spells was unsuccesful on the third morning while Lyon was hit around the park with his wicket coming at a cost of 96 runs off 22 overs.
There is a flurry of boundaries for India in the last half hour before lunch on the third morning with Lyon being hit for a couple through mid off and cover.
Dhoni has slammed a full toss from Lyon mercilessly through mid off.
Michael Clarke is ringing in the changes with the second new ball due in four overs.
Kohli brings up the 250 of the Indian innings edging Pattinson past the vacant slip for his 10th boundary in the 75th over.
Virat Kohli deliberately edged Henriques to third man for his second boundary of the over to bring up the 50 partnership for the fifth wicket with Dhoni in just 63 balls.
Moises Henriques has come into the attack replacing Lyon but Kohli has greeted him by punching a loose delivery to the point boundary.
Dhoni has shown aggressive intent from the first ball and is attempting to hit Lyon out of the attack smacking him for a couple of boundaries, lofting him for his first boundary over mid on and then sweeping him to mid wicket.
Pattinson is back into the attack replacing Starc.
Australia have slackened a bit giving room to Indians to attack with Starc in particular being wayward in line.
Kohli has hit the first six of the Indian innings launching Lyon over midwicket.
|An intriguing first hour's play on the third morning has seen 15 overs being bowled and India scoring just 21 runs for the loss of Tendulkar bowled by Lyon for 81 with only one boundary coming off the blade of Tendulkar.
Nathan Lyon has struck with his first delivery to Sachin Tendulkar on the third morning rattling his stumps providing a major breakthrough for Australia.
Tendulkar departs for 81 off 159 balls having hit seven boundaries during his knock adding 91 runs for the fourth wicket with Kohli.
The manner of Tendulkar is an offspinner's delight although it took a slight inside egdge
Starc has been introduced into the attack replacing Pattinson who went wicketless in his third spell.
Lyon immediately lands on the footmarks to cause low bounce and sharp turn to cause some concern to Kohli.
Off spinner Nathan Lyon has been brought into the attack to replace Siddle.
The bad news for Australia is that Siddle has been given an official warning for running in the danger area.
Runs have dried up for India with Siddle having sent down a second consecutive maiden to Kohli.
Pattinson has bowled a second consecutive maiden to Tendulkar as India's overnight pair show caution.
Pattinson and Siddle are bowling with aggression cramping up the batsmen with short pitched stuff and sending down a couple of consecutive maidens.
Pattinson is teasing Tendulkar with a barrage of short pitched deliveries finishing a splendid maiden over by having the maestro fishing uncharacteristically outside the off stump.
Sachin Tendulkar hits the first boundary of the third morning flicking Peter Siddle's last delivery of the first over to fine leg.
Virat Kohli gets the first runs on day three with a single off James Pattinson.
India trail by 198 runs with seven wickets in hand when they resume on day three of the first Test against Australia at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Sunday.
Sachin Tendulkar (71) and Virat Kohli (50) and Virat Kohli (50) have added 73 runs so far for the unbroken fourth wicket.
This is in reply to Australia's total of 380 with Michael Clarke top scoring with 130 and Ravichandran Ashwin claiming a career-best 7 for 103.
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