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Dravid and Tendulkar fight back for India in first Test
By Robert Smith

BOMBAY, March 1 (AFP) - India's star batsmen Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar compiled a 60-run partnership to thwart Australia on the third day of the first cricket Test here on Thursday.

The pair batted out the entire morning session to lift India from their overnight score of 58-2 to 116 without further loss by lunch. The Indians, who trail by 173 runs on the first innings, still need 57 more to avoid an innings defeat.

Dravid was unbeaten at lunch on 26, while Tendulkar was on 34.

The engrossing session was marred by a heated exchange of words between Michael Slater and Dravid after the third umpire ruled in favour of the batsman when Slater picked up a low ball at mid-wicket.

Television replays proved inconclusive, but Slater indicated to Dravid and the two on-field umpires that he had caught the ball cleanly.

Dravid, then on 22 in a total of 103-2, stood his ground, saying the umpires had the final authority to adjudicate if he was out.

Occupation of the crease, rather than scoring runs, was on the minds of both Dravid and Tendulkar as they saw off the opening spells of dangermen Glenn McGrath and Jason Gillespie.

The first hour produced just 21 runs from 14 overs, with Dravid taking 47 minutes and 40 deliveries to add to his overnight score of six.

He celebrated that by driving Gillespie through the covers for his first boundary.

Tendulkar, who played a lone hand in the Indian first innings with 76, scored boundaries off both McGrath and Shane Warne to get off the mark.





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