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Australia hoping history will repeat itself

Julian Linden | January 02, 2004 20:00 IST

Australia are hoping history will repeat itself and India's batting will collapse so that their retiring captain Steve Waugh can end his career in style.

India dominated the opening day of the fourth and final Test, making 284 for three at the Sydney Cricket Ground after winning the toss and batting first.

But the tourists will not want a repeat of their performance from the last Test in Melbourne when they collapsed to be all out for just 366 after piling on 329-4 on the first day.

Australia went on to win the match by nine wickets and square the series at 1-1 and coach John Buchanan said the deciding Test was looming as a repeat.

"It's a little bit of a carbon copy of the Boxing Day Test," Buchanan said.

"We turned that around the next day and that's what we'll be hoping to do tomorrow."

Indian opener Akash Chopra said the tourists were still wary of their dramatic collapse in Melbourne but were confident there would be no repeat.

"We haven't spoken about it but it's definitely in the back of our minds," Chopra said.

"We have to learn from our mistakes in Melbourne. We are definitely looking for a huge first innings total. We are in a good position and we can definitely build from here."


Chopra said the tourists were pleased with their first day effort, especially after their out of form batsman Sachin Tendulkar reached stumps unbeaten on 73.

Tendulkar had managed a modest total of 82 in the three previous Tests but showed signs he was in the mood to make amends.

"He makes up for his failures with huge scores, he's done it in the past and he's batting tremendously well so hopefully he'll have a very big one tomorrow," Chopra said.

Australia again let themselves down with some uncharacteristic mistakes in the field. Simon Katich dropped a straightforward catch off Chopra before he had reached double-figures to take the team's total of missed chances in the series to 13, well above their normal standards.

A string of run-out opportunities were also spurned while express bowler Brett Lee gave away 15 no-balls.

"It's an age old story, bowlers don't want to bowl no-balls but sometimes it happens. And it's the same with dropped catches," Buchanan said.

"We've set ourselves a standard that we're not living up to at the moment but we can turn it around."

Buchanan said the Australians were not surprised that Tendulkar had rediscovered his form.

"The law of averages suggest there was an innings somewhere. I wouldn't say that he has accumulated the runs in the best fashion but he's still there and he's weathered the storm," he said.

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