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banner Thursday, 22 March, 2001, 02:21 GMT
Down to the wire
Steve Waugh in action during Australia's Test series against India
The tourists' hopes rest on stars like Steve Waugh
Australian batsman Justin Langer believes that India have a fight on their hands as they go into the final day in Chennai.

On the surface, India looks to be in a commanding position in this third Test match.

However, like a pond, the surface doesn't always tell the full story of what is happening underneath the scoreboard and its statistics.

Taking away the modest lead of 130 and the lack of wickets still in hand, there are two major points that have the match situation closer than the uneducated cricket eye may understand.

Firstly, there is an element called pressure, and it is this undeniable and indefinable element that causes so much change in the fortune of an international cricket match.

The second factor leading into day five is the pitch here in Chennai. While it is yet to play a major part in this game, the last session of play suggests the spinners could potentially cause havoc on the final day.


Every run from now on is like scoring two, as the target increases and the doubts in India's minds heighten
  Justin Langer
A number of balls turned viciously out of the growing rough patches that sit perilously outside the off stump of both the left handers and right.

If Steve Waugh and the remainder of our tail can add any more runs to the target, we know the Indian batsmen will be wary of the fight on their hands.

Every run from now on is like scoring two, as the target increases and the doubts in India's minds heighten.

From a personal view, it looked like I was disappointed with the umpire's decision when I was out.

In fact, for the first time in my career, I had no idea that I had hit the ball, as I hit the pitch at the same time as the ball deflected off my bat.

It was not until I had seen the replay that I realised that I was definitely out and had probably looked a little foolish standing waiting for the umpire's decision.

I guess my reaction was one of disbelief and disappointment after what has been a frustrating time for me with the bat.

Justin Langer
Langer could not believe he was out
At every outing to the crease, I have managed to get a start, and yet I haven't been able to go on and make a big century.

As a batsman there is nothing more frustrating than failing to capitalise on a good start, especially when you know that you are seeing and hitting the ball well.

A break from cricket, after the final huge day, will be a welcome relief after four years without recharging the batteries.

I will be looking to sit back for a month or so, re-assess where I am at, and work out how I can continue to improve as a Test batsman.

I am sure the break will be the perfect remedy for a number of big runs in the not too distant future.

One thing for sure is that any personal disappointment will be brushed aside if we can win this final test.

The first session is vital, with the onus on our captain and the bowlers to make as many runs as possible.

After watching Australian movie Gallipoli tonight, the guys are looking forward to giving everything tomorrow.

With the one-day replacement players arriving yesterday, there is plenty of support around the changing room for a historic victory.

From Chennai

JL

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