Sydney:Having been dismissed in the 90s on several occasions in the recent past, it was a great relief for Sachin Tendulkar when he reached his 38th Test century at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday.
"I breathed a sigh of relief as I had missed eight or nine hundreds in 2007," Tendulkar, who punched the air in joy and looked towards the heavens on reaching the ton, said.
He was not looking at the scoreboard during his knock but admitted that he asked Harbhajan Singh to run quickly for the two runs that got him the hundred.
He was particularly pleased that his effort had put India in a good position with a first innings lead of 69 over Australia in the second Test.
"I kept fighting and tried to play according to the merit of the ball and waiting for the loose deliveries," Tendulkar said after the third day's play.
He added a vital 129 for the eighth wicket with Harbhajan (63) which rescued India from a difficult situation.
"I knew Harbhajan can get runs and he put his head down today. If you give confidence to lower-order batsmen, they get charged up to prove themselves," the 34-year-old batsman said.
Tendulkar did not protect the tailenders and gave them plenty of strike.
"The field was back for me and I took the singles on offer. There was no point playing a rash shot and getting out.
I thought the field would come in for the tailenders and they could hit some boundaries," he said.
Comparing his innings in Sydney with the efforts in the previous Test in Melbourne, Tendulkar said "in the first Test, there were attacking field placements and I could hit boundaries.
"Here, there were fielders on the fence and I had to pace my innings."
Looking at the state of the match, Tendulkar said spinners will have a major role to play in the remaining two days of the Test.
"There is turn and bounce and the ball is also stopping on the pitch. Spinners will trouble batsmen more from here on as there is not much there for pace bowlers," he said.