| Sachin Tendulkar in action at the MCG on Thursday |
Melbourne: Such is Sachin Tendulkars presence that Australias 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... Hes 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 didnt 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 Australias way entirely
I know we were in a good position yesterday, but the match isnt over and well continue to fight...
On Team Indias 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
Its not always possible to score... The ball cant be put away comfortably all the time... There wasnt enough rotation of the strike, but it wasnt 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 wouldnt agree... Youve got to accept that some will bowl such spells.
On the decision to promote Rahul Dravid to the second openers slot, a move which failed
You cant form an opinion after just one innings... You must wait for the series to end.
On whether Dravid will remain a makeshift opener throughout
Cant say... I dont decide such things.
On whether hed taken guard with the intent to force the pace
I didnt 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 Id 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) Cant recall... We keep talking... Sometimes, its not about cricket as one needs to switch off between overs...
On the MCG wicket
Its slow, but not a bad Test wicket... I dont understand why people think good cricket cant 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
Its 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
Its not that we cant perform tomorrow (Friday)... As Ive said, well continue to fight.