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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 January, 2004, 10:09 GMT
Double ton delights Sachin
Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar insisted he never lost faith in his ability during a run of poor form that ended with 220 not out against Australia in Sydney.

The Indian batsman went into the game without a Test century since November 2002 but hit 30 fours and shared a stand of 353 with VVS Laxman.

"I knew a big innings was around the corner and it was just a matter of hanging in there," he said.

He has now scored 32 Test centuries, two fewer than Sunil Gavaskar's record.

"It's very relieving, especially when you've not had a good series," Tendulkar commented.

"It's not that I wasn't batting well, I was just missing out on one particular ball - instead of getting beaten I was nicking it."

India ended the second day's play on 650-5, and Australia will now need some equally inspired batting to revive skipper Steve Waugh's hopes of ending his Test career with a victory.

"This innings was particularly important because being Steve's last Test, he'll always be remembered," Tendulkar added.

VVS Laxman
It's really satisfying to be getting runs against the best bowling attack in the world
VVS Laxman

Laxman's 178 was equally important for the tourists, and he cited Waugh as one of his cricket heroes.

"I would like to dedicate this hundred to my parents, who have been a great source of inspiration for me. And also to Steve Waugh....watching him play always gave me a lot of pleasure."

He added: "It's always a great learning experience batting with Sachin.

"When you're at the non-strikers' end and you're watching the best batsman in the world play, it's an on-going learning process for me.

"Any overseas hundred is very special to me, and against Australia it definitely gives more satisfaction."

Despite the match situation, Australian wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist insisted they had not given up hope, although the prospects of winning were now remote.

"It's just been a real challenge for us to try to find ways of getting these guys out. It's been tough work. it's been physically and mentally taxing," he said.



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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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