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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 December, 2003, 05:58 GMT
Waugh relieved at recovery
Steve Waugh acknowledges the bumper crowd in Melbourne

Australia captain Steve Waugh has revealed he thought injury might force him to miss his Test farewell in Sydney this weekend.

Australia go into the final match of their series against India on 2 January level at 1-1 after a nine-wicket victory in Melbourne.

But Waugh, who will be playing his 168th and final Test, admitted he feared the worse when struck by an Agit Agarkar delivery on Sunday.

He said after winning the third Test: "I honestly thought I had broken my arm.

"The problem was actually gripping the bat - I had a sharp pain down my arm and I thought, 'This might be it.'"

"I was always going to get back out there at some stage, but I didn't really know whether I would make it to Sydney."

We fought our way out of trouble and that's a sign of a good side
Steve Waugh
Waugh, who has won 41 out of his 56 Tests as skipper, received an adoring farewell from a final day crowd of just over 29,000, boosted by free admission.

It was all a precursor to what will be an emotional final chapter in Sydney.

"I'm just going to try and enjoy it." he said. "I know it's going to be difficult at times, but these things only happen once in your life and I want to make it a positive experience."

Waugh said he was relishing the added pressure of a series decider in his final Test appearance.

We'll have to find a way to get some runs on the board
Sourav Ganguly
"That's good - the more there is at stake and more on the game, then the better we play," he said.

"It's an uncomfortable pressure when you're 1-0 down (in a series) but it's something you occasionally need to lift yourselves and we lifted in this game.

"We came back well, we fought our way out of trouble and that's a sign of a good side."

India skipper Sourav Ganguly said he did not expect the home side to be distracted by the emotion of Waugh's final match.

"I hope it does [work] in our favour. But they are professionals. They know it's a Test match and the series is 1-1," he said.

Ganguly blamed his tailenders after two batting collapses prevented the tourists from setting Australia a more testing total.

"We'll have to find a way after this Test, even if we can't occupy the crease, [to] get some runs on the board," he added.

"It's up to them, they have to show a bit of courage, especially when the fast bowlers are bowling."





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Australia captain Steve Waugh
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