A superb double century from India captain MS Dhoni put his side in the ascendancy at stumps on day three of the first Test against Australia.
Dhoni – who was not at the crease when play resumed with India at 3-182 – hit his highest Test score, finishing on a stunning 206 not out from 243 balls, an innings that included 22 fours and five sixes.
He was particularly aggressive when Australia took the second new ball, while he also stepped it up when batting with India's tailenders.
Dhoni hit strongly on both sides of the wicket, with his timing and back-foot drives a particular highlight.
In response to Australia's first innings score of 380, India finished at 8-515 in Chennai, putting themselves in the box seat to win the series opener.
Earlier, Sachin Tendulkar (81) and Virat Kohli (107) made a slow start to proceedings and the Aussies were delighted when spinner Nathan Lyon (3-182 off 40 overs) removed the highest run-scorer in Test cricket.
Lyon – who gave the ball extra flight – got sharp turn from an excellent delivery that beat Tendulkar's defence and crashed into the stumps.
Just 21 runs were scored from the first hour of play but that was not an indication of what was to come as Dhoni immediately got going with a pair of boundaries off Lyon.
He and Kohli ticked the scoreboard over, taking India to lunch at 4-263 before they launched into the tourists' attack immediately after the second new ball was taken.
The first seven overs with the fresh ball saw 10 fours and one six hit, with Dhoni smashing three boundaries off one Mitchell Starc (0-75 off 25) over.
He also treated Moises Henriques (1-48 off 17) with contempt, strolling down the pitch and hitting him for six from the first delivery of a new spell, while he repeated the dose two balls later with a big four.
The run-rate was soaring but just after reaching an impressive fourth century in Test cricket, Kohli departed when he picked out Starc at mid-on off the bowling of Lyon.
Dhoni continued to score freely and although Ravindra Jadeja (16) and Ravichandran Ashwin (three) fell either side of the tea break – bowled by James Pattinson (4-89 off 26) and Lyon respectively – the Indian skipper did not relent.
The wicketkeeper resumed the final session on 97 not out and quickly brought up his ton, lofting Peter Siddle (0-61 off 22) for four over square leg.
Henriques bowled Harbhajan Singh (11) when the spinner missed an attempted slog across the line but with Bhuvneshwar Kumar (16 not out) happy to farm the strike to Dhoni, the captain stepped into overdrive.
He punished anything full or short, stepping up the aggression when a bowler would start a new spell.
His superb play unsettled the Australians, who regularly changed their bowlers to little effect.
Lyon came in for particular punishment and Starc and Siddle toiled away without luck, while skipper Michael Clarke (0-25 off eight) and David Warner (0-19 off three) also failed to trouble their opponents.
As the day approached an end, all interest surrounded Dhoni's audacious bid for 200 runs in one day of Test cricket.
And he achieved the milestone with a nudge to third man off the bowling of Lyon, with the risky single – which came with less than four minutes left – bringing the stadium to their feet.
The crowd again rose when stumps were called, giving Dhoni a hero's reception as he left the field after his finest innings in international cricket.
First Posted 24 February, 2013 11:03PM AEST