The match is not over yet: Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar defended his team and Rahul Dravid after India were bundled out for 196 in the first innings against Australia on the 2nd day of the first

updated: December 30, 2007 17:54 IST
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Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar on Thursday defended his team and team mate Rahul Dravid after India were bundled out for 196 in the first innings against Australia on the second day of the first Test.

Tendulkar, who top-scored for the Indians with 62 runs, refused to concede defeat. He felt nothing could be said about the match as a lot of cricket is still to be played.

"Yesterday we were in a good position and today it is not the same for us. Definitely we should have played better today. But this is part and parcel of the game. The match is not over yet and we will continue to fight.

"We have to pick up ten wickets as quickly as possible and that would be our target. Then on we have to take session by session."

On India's poor start, replying to Australia's first innings score of 343, Tendulkar defended makeshift opener Rahul Dravid. "It was one of those days when both the openers had to fight it out and there was not enough strike rotation for the five six overs and they had encounter some fiery spells.

But it is not the first time it has happened in Test cricket. It is pretty normal and no complaints against the openers," he said.

He refused to accept the argument that the openers' dismal performance put pressure on the other batsmen.

"Well after the first innings I don't think we should be passing judgements. Probably at the end of series it would right to judge. Rahul has done well at all numbers so let us wait for the series to end," said Tendulkar.

The batting maestro also found nothing wrong with the slow and low MCG track.

"I don't think it is a bad track, it is good for cricket. I don't know why people around the world feel that if the tracks are slow then they are bad for cricket. Who says if the tacks are fast then they are good for cricket. Test cricket is all about adjustments so I don't have anything about the tracks," Tendulkar said.

The 36-year-old also attributed his dismissal to the slow nature of the wicket. He inside-edged a Stuart Clark delivery, trying to force through the covers.

"I think you cannot always strike the ball the way you want, sometimes the ball is not pitched in the areas you want them to be. The ball to which I got out came much slower than I expected. When I saw the length, I picked it up, but it did not come quick enough," he said.

Tendulkar also said that his aggressive attitude at the crease was pre-planned tactics aimed to dismantle the Australian attack.

"When I went out to the crease, I had a plan in mind. I just decided to go out there and play my natural game.

"If I see the ball in my corridor, I will hit regardless of who the bowler is."

Asked why he did not go for the hook shot against the likes of Lee, Clark and Johnson, he said: "I decide what shots I need to play when I am at the crease. In India, I wanted to hook so I did, but here I didn't feel like doing so."