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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 January, 2004, 07:28 GMT
Tendulkar puts India in command
Fourth Test, Sydney, day two (close)
India 650-5 v Australia

Sachin Tendulkar
Sunil Gavaskar (Ind)
34 hundreds in 125 Tests
Steve Waugh (Aus)
32 in 167 Tests
Sachin Tendulkar (Ind)
32 in 111 Tests
Don Bradman (Aus)
29 in 52 Tests
Steve Waugh's hopes of retiring from Test cricket with a series win were virtually extinguished as Sachin Tendulkar put India in total control.

After a woeful run of form in 2003, Tendulkar ended the second day of the deciding Test unbeaten on 220, his highest score in Test cricket.

He had put on 353 for the fourth wicket with VVS Laxman, who hit a sublime 178.

Leg-spinner Stuart MacGill dropped two catches and was hit for 146 runs.

India began the day on 284-3, and records began to tumble as Tendulkar and Laxman batted through the morning and afternoon sessions.

Tendulkar's most productive shot was the drive and he despatched straight balls, whether half-volleys or length balls, effortlessly either side of mid-on for a string of boundaries.

Laxman played some superb cover-drives and was even able to hit deliveries bowled wide of off-stump through mid-wicket for four.

VVS Laxman
Laxman now has a terrific personal record against Australia

Tendulkar had gone into the Test having scored only 153 runs in five Tests during 2003 - a dismal aggregate considering his standing in the game.

After just three days in 2004 he has now easily trumped that total.

On Friday he became only the fourth player to pass 9,000 runs in Test cricket. And on Saturday he joined Waugh on 32 Test centuries, just two behind the record-holder Sunil Gavaskar.

He still has the opportunity to continue batting on Sunday, pending a possible declaration by Sourav Ganguly.

The Indian captain can already rest in the knowledge that his team have notched the highest Test score by any visiting team in Australia - a piece of history hardly written in the script for Waugh's swansong.

The first wicket finally came when Laxman, who had just been dropped by MacGill at square leg off Jason Gillespie was bowled off his pads by the same bowler.

By then, MacGill had already spilled an easy chance at mid-on when Tendulkar, on 149, mistimed a drive off Nathan Bracken.

Ganguly hit 16 off 11 balls before he was yorked by Brett Lee, who has already had 169 runs harvested off his bowling.

Parthiv Patel then hit a bright 45 not out as India cruised past 600 late in the day.

The Tendulkar-Laxman partnership was the highest fourth-wicket partnership scored by any team in Test history against the Aussies.

Laxman, who averages well over 60 in Test cricket against Australia, has now featured in three partnerships worth more than 300 against them.

Both those previous matches resulted in Indian victories.

Australia: Justin Langer, Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting, Damien Martyn, Steve Waugh (captain), Simon Katich, Adam Gilchrist, Brett Lee, Jason Gillespie, Nathan Bracken, Stuart MacGill.

India: Akash Chopra, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly (captain), V.V.S. Laxman, Parthiv Patel, Ajit Agarkar, Anil Kumble, Irfan Pathan, Murali Kartik.

Umpires: Steve Bucknor (WI), Billy Bowden (NZ)

Links to more Aus v Ind stories


India's VVS Laxman
"We went out to play every ball on its merit, session by session"

Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist
"I thought we stuck to our task pretty well"

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