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Sachin: Match isn’t over... We’ll continue to fight
- ‘I got out at an important time... Had I continued, Sourav and I could have made a huge difference’

Melbourne: Such is Sachin Tendulkar’s presence that Australia’s Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, was among those disappointed when the maestro fell to a slower one on Thursday afternoon, Day II of the first Test.

The Prime Minister, a wicketkeeper in his younger days, conveyed his disappointment through Channel 9 when he was interviewed during the tea break.

Former Australian captain Mark Taylor was also disappointed.

“He was batting beautifully... He’s probably past his best, but can still dominate, as he showed for around an hour... India needed a hundred from somebody and Sachin looked good for one... He didn’t get there, but showed he has the eye and the skill to get on top of the bowling even now,” Taylor told The Telegraph.

Sachin himself spoke to the media after stumps. The following are excerpts:

On Day II going Australia’s way entirely

I know we were in a good position yesterday, but the match isn’t over and we’ll continue to fight...

On Team India’s game plan for the third day

To take the Australian wickets as early as possible and to try and win all the sessions that remain.

On the choking opening spells from Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson

It’s not always possible to score... The ball can’t be put away comfortably all the time... There wasn’t enough rotation of the strike, but it wasn’t the first time in Test cricket that great opening spells were bowled.

On whether the openers’ failure to get on top affected him when he walked in at 31 for two


On whether such outstanding opening spells add to the pressure on the batsmen waiting in the dressing room

I wouldn’t agree... You’ve got to accept that some will bowl such spells.

On the decision to promote Rahul Dravid to the second opener’s slot, a move which failed

You can’t form an opinion after just one innings... You must wait for the series to end.

On whether Dravid will remain a makeshift opener throughout

Can’t say... I don’t decide such things.

On whether he’d taken guard with the intent to force the pace

I didn’t go with a specific intent... If a ball was to be put away, I put it away... If there were good balls in the right areas, I left them.

On being dismissed by Stuart Clark

The ball came slower than I’d expected... I misjudged and was disappointed as tea was only 10 minutes away...

On whether his 62 is one of his finest innings in Australia

Look, this tour has just started and...

On his dismissal (120 for four) ending the productive partnership with Sourav Ganguly

Yes, I got out at an important time... Had I continued, Sourav and I could have made a huge difference.

On his chat with Sourav moments before he got out

(Grins) Can’t recall... We keep talking... Sometimes, it’s not about cricket as one needs to switch off between overs...

On the MCG wicket

It’s slow, but not a bad Test wicket... I don’t understand why people think good cricket can’t be played on slow wickets... Who says a fast wicket is the only type which is good? Test cricket is about adjustments.

On whether it will be possible to chase even 400 in the final innings

It’s possible, why not?

On whether Yuvraj Singh and Anil Kumble, both of whom got what seemed poor decisions, reacted on reaching the dressing room

What happens in the dressing room will remain there...

Finally, on the mood in the Team India dressing room

It’s not that we can’t perform tomorrow (Friday)... As I’ve said, we’ll continue to fight.

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