Elbows and verbals as Gambhir inspires India

India 296-3 v Australia
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The Independent Online

The India opener Gautam Gambhir struck a career-best unbeaten 149 and his second consecutive century to hand India control against Australia on a confrontational first day of the third Test yesterday. India were 296 for 3 at stumps at the Ferozshah Kotla stadium here after Gambhir led a superb recovery following two early wickets, the hosts deciding to bat on a pitch later expected to help spin.

Gambhir added 130 runs for the third wicket with Sachin Tendulkar, who hit a fluent 68, and 139 runs for the unbroken fourth wicket with VVS Laxman, who was 54 not out at the close. The left-hander scored 104 in the second Test in Mohali to help India win by a record 320 runs.

His superb batting was marred by clashes on the field. Before tea Gambhir elbowed Shane Watson while going for a run, after the bowler appeared to gesture and say something to him. He also exchanged words with Simon Katich after the spinner appeared to block him attempting a quick single.

The fast bowler Brett Lee struck in his second over by trapping Virender Sehwag leg before. Mitchell Johnson then tempted Rahul Dravid to edge to slip. Tendulkar, Test cricket's most prolific scorer, fell to his first mistake, pushing at a Johnson delivery which moved away to be caught behind.

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