'Super King' Dhoni's double ton gives India 135-run lead

M S Dhoni

As a gentle loosener to begin the post-stumps press conference, Virat Kohli was asked to re-live his knock of 107 and also throw some light on M S Dhoni's unbeaten 206, the two big knocks on Day Three of the first India-Australia Test.

Kohli insisted that he would answer by switching the question sequence. "I will speak about Dhoni's first," he said with a wide grin.

"Scoring a double hundred at that pace, and that too in the company of tailenders isn't easy. He has a special ability to take the game away from the rivals with his batting," he said.

At dusk on Sunday, all talk within the MA Chidambaram Stadium started and ended with Dhoni, remaining centered on his blazing batting during that bizarre last session. Just before the last session of the day commenced, it is learned that Dhoni walked into the dressing room for tea and asked his teammates not to talk to him about the state of the ailing pitch or the run-rate.

From tea to the end of play, he jumped from 97 to 206, to finish the day with five sixes and 22 fours. He had walked in with India on 196/4. When he left the field, the score had climbed to 515/8. With two days to go, a lead of 135 runs doesn't guarantee a win, even on a deteriorating pitch. But the manner of Dhoni's assault certainly hung on every resigned Australian face.

Michael Clarke's side, with their soiled flannels showcasing the hard day of toil on the field, dragged their feet to the dressing room while shaking hands with the Indian skipper. Busy acknowledging the applause from the rivals and his teammates, Dhoni almost forgot the spectators. But just before crossing the rope, he turned back and raised his bat. The Sunday crowd brought the stadium's roof down one last time.

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