The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Somehow I always play better vs Aussies: Sachin

Gwalior: Sachin Tendulkar does not think there is anything special behind his consistent success against the Australians. It’s not that their fighting spirit puts him into a different mode.

“I have always enjoyed playing against them and it’s great to come up with a good performance. I always play my natural game and somehow it happens against the Australians,” Sachin who scored his 35th hundred on Sunday said. Both stand-in skipper Rahul Dravid and Sachin felt that this is going to be a “tough tournament” and there is no time to relax. There was also no point in thinking about the past.

Sachin was all praise for V. V. S. Laxman who scored a superb 102 in his comeback match after being dropped for the World Cup. “Laxman batted very well. He has been remarkable since the start of the season and he only continued the good show here.”

Dravid said he was confident even after the Aussie openers got off to a brilliant start. “We knew it won’t be easy for a new batsman to adapt to the conditions. The spinners were bowling well and it was only a matter of one wicket when Hayden and Gilchrist were going great guns.

“We stuck to our task. The wicket was low and slow and once we got the breakthrough we knew we had the match in our hands. Once Sehwag got the wickets at that stage, I knew there would be no stopping us,” Dravid said.

Ricky Ponting, on the other hand, blamed his batsmen for the defeat. “The bowlers tried their best. It was a bad day and I am very disappointed with he batting. Their shot selection was very poor and we had to pay the price,” the Aussie skipper said.

Ponting said they would have to find ways to stop Sachin. “He played very well. We’ll have to work out on how to stop him.” Ponting felt that the turning point of the match was when the lost four wickets in a span of few overs. “This Indian side is certainly better in these sort of conditions. Indians adapted better and we have to do it soon.”

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