Day 3 at the Kotla

Yahoo cricket editorial blogs

(During the course of the first Test between India and West Indies at the Kotla, we'll post live updates, analysis, reader comments and reactions. Please hit F5 periodically for new posts.)

Day 3 - End of Play - India 152/2 in their 2nd innings. They need a further 124 runs to win this Test and they have 2 days in which to get it in

5:00 pm: So what if the hundredth 100 is still in queue. 15,000 runs are here for Sachin Tendulkar and the tributes are pouring in. Ahh, we just need a reason to love him don't we.

jhunjhunwala Sachin has not completed 15,000 Test Runs. 15K Test Runs have completed Sachin (GOD) Tendulkar

The class of '73

Trivia: Did you that aside from being the world's top two leading run-scorers in Tests, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid have the world record for the highest overall partnership. They've scored a whopping 6568 runs together in Test matches alone and they're not done yet.

3:00 pm:

India are one wicket down and still over 200 runs in arrears but the two batsman who seem most likely to win them the match are currently at the crease - Virender Sehwag, Mr Matter-of-fact with the see 'em - hit 'em attitude and Rahul (won't call him The Wall because he is so much more) Dravid, who has legendary staying power and can spank the bad balls through the covers with such elegance that you would sometimes wonder if the ball isn't asking for more .

The next batsman in is Sachin Tendulkar and no discussion on the master blaster these days comes without mention of his expected 100th hundred. He’s been on 99 for awhile and the longer it takes, the more jokes pour in. Insult to injury was a trending hashtag on Twitter of late was #ThingsThatCanHappenBeforeSachins100thCentury

Jokes aside chuck_gopal has compiled a blog with videos of all Sachin’s 99 centuries till date – a herculean effort.

1:50 pm: The West Indies finally ended their innings for 180, Ashwin picking up last man Rampaul -  his sixth wicket in the innings and ninth of the match. Harbhajan's Singh's eulogies are already being penned on Twitter:

Sanjay_Dixit Not very good news for Harbhajan Singh. Ashwin's superlative performance makes his comeback even more difficult.

India have been set a target of 276 to win

Ashwin: 9 wickets on debut

1 pm: India are already staring at a total in excess of 250 already and need to pick up one more wicket.  A lot of the comments coming in from readers suggest that they don't have too much faith in India achieving the target. Not only is the pitch crumbling up but the Indian batting line up have scored more than 300 only once in their previous 15 innings.

However reader Apurba remembers India chasing a record 406 vs the West Indies. That was way back in 1976 when Sunil Gavaskar's heroics won India the game.

Meanwhile, debutant Ashwin has completed a five-for. His is the second best performance for an Indian bowler on debut behind Narendra Hirwani.

11:30 am:  Lunch - West Indies 109/7, lead by 204 runs

Interesting Fact - India have never won a Test vs Windies at the Kotla. The sides have faced each at the venue 6 times, out of which their have been 4 draws and the Caribbean side have come out on top twice. Once in the 1987 match mentioned below and the other instance was in 1974 when they coasted home by an innings and 17 runs.

Meanwhile, India's other debutant Umesh Yadav has picked up another wicket but the Windies are already 204 ahead and with Chanderpaul and Sammy at the crease, India will strive hard to restrict their target to under 250.

11:00 am: R Ashwin has dealt the Windies a double blow - first by trapping Darren Bravo plumb in front of the wicket and then  in the same over luring Marlon Samuels into playing forward with his carrom ball that went on to clip the off stump. The spin bowling choices India have opted for in this Test (Ashwin on debut and Ojha coming into the XI after a year) are proving to be good decisions.

Six wickets down and four to go for the Indians. Can they ensure they won't chase a target over 200?

10:30 am: India have dislodged nightwatchman Fidel Edwards and and the young batsman Kirk Edwards early this morning, but the West Indies are already 158 ahead courtesy their first innings lead of 95. Even a total of 200 is going to be a tough ask for the Indians with the pitch crumbling as it is.

Moreover, first innings centurion and India's nemesis over the years - Shivnarine Chanderpaul, has just walked in -he's already getting reactions on twitter:

_fakeiplplayer Who took Chanderpaul's ancestors to the Caribbean? Damn!

Can the big three make it count in the 2nd innings?

Trivia: The highest run chase achieved at the Kotla was in fact by the West Indies vs India in 1987. They scored 276/5 to win the game which included a blistering century from Viv Richards.

This time around though. India will be chasing in the 4th innings. What total do you think they can successfully chase on a deteriorating pitch?

Day 3 action will begin at the Ferozshah Kotla with the match already poised for an exciting finish. 22 wickets have fallen in 2 days, 17 of them coming on Day 2 and the pundits are already forecasting an early finish to the First Test.

At the beginning of this Test, not many gave the West Indies a chance. However badly the Indian side had done in England, they were still expected to be back to their 'tigers at home' form in New Delhi. But their batting came undone as they failed to cross the 300-run mark yet again.