Tendulkar, Ganguly in run riot
Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly pounded England into submission with an awe-inspiring batting display that saw India amass 584 for 4 by the end of day two at Headingley.
It was the first occasion that the batting trio of Tendulkar, Ganguly and Rahul Dravid scored hundreds in the same innings.
India scored 348 runs on the second day, losing just two wickets as skipper Nasser Hussain's assortment of negative tactics fell flat on its face.
Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar walked back to the pavilion at lunch with the English team applauding their dominating performance. Having registered a 109-run partnership for the third wicket, the duo took India to 294 for 2 at the break. Dravid was unbeaten on 130 and Tendulkar on 53.
After an hourís delay because of rain, the covers were finally lifted off the square at Headingley, with the English seamers hoping to redeem their disappointing showing on day one.
And though the England coach overestimated his bowlers' abilities by saying they could have had six or seven down on day one, he was quite right when he rued the fact that his bowlers didn't learn their lessons from Trent Bridge.
Andy Caddick, at best, was mediocre and failed to learn from his mistakes of the first day. He pitched the first ball of the morning on to Dravid's pads and was sent packing to the midwicket boundary. From thereon, there was no let-off as the bats broadened and Hussain stood helplessly.
Hussain swapped Caddick's bowling ends but that had no impact as the scoring rate moved at a frenetic pace.
Alex Tudor was the only seamer who worried the batsmen and made the ball kick off a good length and hurry the batters. He pitched one on good length and it reared up at Tendulkar, who shouldered arms. The ball brushed his sleeve before settling into keeper Stewartís gloves. The appeal, however, was turned down.
Tendulkar was authoritative at the crease. His strokes on either side of the square were pure class as was his handling of the short stuff from Andy Flintoff.
Hussain ran out of tricks and seemed to have cowed down against the rising stocks of the Indian batsmen.
In an article he wrote last night, he said everyone underestimated the Indian side. "They are actually a very fine side, with men for all occasions. There's Sehwag at the top of the order who'll give it a smack; there's Dravid who's technically brilliant -- then there's Tendulkar. They all average over 50 and that's why they keep proving people wrong. They are an exceptional batting side."
A flicked pull to the mid-wicket fence brought up Tendulkar's second half-century of the series and convinced Hussain's scrutiny of the Indian batsmen.
The Indians scored 58 runs in the 15 overs of the morning session that was cut down to an hour due to the rain.
India went into lunch at 294 for 2, with Dravid, unbeaten on 130, and Tendulkar, on 53, searching for his first hundred of the series.
Tendulkar's 99-ball innings till lunch had 80 dot balls, with just six runs coming through the on-side in front of the wicket. The batsman curbed his urge to improvise and play across the line of the ball.
Post Lunch session
India batted England out of the game as Sachin Tendulkar rewrote another record, scoring his 30th Test century.
At tea, India had piled a colossal 421 for 3, with Tendulkar batting on 111 and Sourav Ganguly, nearing his half-century, firmly in control at the crease.
Each time Rahul Dravid plays a great knock he inspires one of his own team mates to eclipse him.
And if the comparison was not qualitative criteria this time, it was a sense of history that overshadowed his hundred as Tendulkar went past Sir Don's 29 Test hundreds in the post-lunch session of the day.
Dravid slapped Tudor, bowling the first over after lunch, straight back down the ground and smashed another two to help India cross the 300-run mark.
Batting with eyes that could read a business card 100 meters away, he had so much time playing his strokes that he seemed sure to score his second Test double century.
Tendulkar, refusing to fade away into the margins of the Indian innings by Dravidís knock, unleashed a stunning cover-drive off Hoggard in the next over.
India scored at five an over in the first seven overs of the session as Tendulkar cover-drove Hoggard into oblivion. The aggressive Hussain resorted to the conservative defensive field, incorporating an off-side sweeper out in the deep.
Ashley Giles tested Dravid with his tweakers, beating his bat on several occasions, and missing his edge on a couple of occasions. He finally managed to break his marathon 433-minute knock, when he swerved one in the air that pitched on middle and turned viciously with Dravid stranded outside his crease. Stewart whipped the bails off and Dravid was dismissed for 148.
The dismissal broke the 150-run partnership between him and Tendulkar as India established a commanding position at 335 for 3.
Tendulkar fittingly got his 30th hundred, sending his nemesis Ashley Giles through mid-wicket and mid-on for four. He pulled his grille off and flashed his bat in a moment of unrestrained emotion. His 171-ball knock, spiked with 13 boundaries, all but laid to rest England's dreams of winning the series at Headingley itself.
Hussain, apart from his spectacular saves in the covers, was invisible. Some days ago the man was compared as the best England captain since Mike Brearley. All he managed to do was slow down the proceedings by the dwindling bowling rate. At a time when the ICC wants to make the game interesting, such delay tactics donít augur well for the longer version of the game.
127 runs came from 36 overs in the 153 minutes of the extended session after lunch as Tendulkar and Ganguly headed towards another 100-run partnership, with the Indian total reading 421 for 3 in 141 overs.
Post Tea session
Ganguly scored his third consecutive half-century of the series off 93 balls and celebrated by slamming Giles for the first six of the match. The ball, however, smacked a spectator, attempting to catch the ball, bang on his forehead. The bleeding spectator was led off the field for medical attention even as Hussain grimaced through the pain the Indian batsmen had inflicted on his seamers.
In despair he resorted to his negative tactics, assorting the leg-theory and the short-pitched stuff beyond the reach of the batsmen in equal measure. For the second time in the day, England had resorted to the devices that were detrimental to the spirit of the game.
Giles and Andrew Flintoff gave 22 runs in the 12 overs they bowled before the Indian tornado struck the English seamers. For a while it seemed that India were falling back in the run-rate and not giving the bowlers enough time to bowl the hosts out twice.
Ganguly -- on 79 -- was reprieved when Robert Key at first slip dropped a sitter off Caddick, bowling the second over with the second new ball. Thereafter, his innings was one of fluidity, spiked with sublime timing and dogged grit, when facing the short-pitched stuff.
At 495 for 3, the umpires offered the light to the batsmen, which was turned down much to the ire of Hussain. Life came full circle for Hussain, who two seasons ago had refused to walk off under near dark conditions in Pakistan to chronicle their maiden series win in 38 years.
It was mayhem thereafter as the Indians, who were waiting for the second new ball, slipped into top gear and rained the Englishmen with boundaries and sixes of the topmost quality.
Ninety runs came in the next eight overs as Tendulkar and Ganguly, who registered his ninth Test century off 156 balls, blasted the bowlers out of the park. It was the first time that Tendulkar, Dravid and Ganguly had registered hundreds in the same innings of a Test.
Tendulkar was contemptuous of the English seamers, hooking and pulling at will, while Ganguly devastated the hosts with his sublime strokes through the off-side, and sweep slogs over the mid-wicket fence.
The 171st over from Giles was taken for 23 runs as Ganguly scored 4,6,6,4 and tapped the left-arm spinner after the annihilating over.
His blitz ended when Tudor sent his off-stump cartwheeling out of the ground.
His 167-ball 128, studded with 14 boundaries and three sixes, had set the pace for the Indians to dictate the terms of the match over the next three days. His knock of 249 with Tendulkar was the third best fourth-wicket stand ever at Headingley by an Indian pair, erasing the 222 run partnership between Vijay Hazare and Vijay Manjrekar, set in 1952.
VVS Laxman walked out into the middle only to return without facing a ball as the umpires called off play with the light deteriorating.
India had amassed a massive 584 for 4, with Tendulkar undefeated on 185 and rocketing towards his first-ever overseas double ton.