Aussies work on keeping Sachin down
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Aussies work on keeping Sachin down

Brad Williams says his teammates are working at keeping Sachin Tendulkar in his form slump.

india Updated: Dec 29, 2003 16:01 IST

Fast bowler Brad Williams says his Australian teammates are working at keeping Indian batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar in his form slump.

Tendulkar looked to be recapturing his ebullient touch during his knock of 44 as India attempted to overcome a massive 192-run innings deficit and set Steve Waugh's team a competitive total to chase on Tuesday's final day of the match.

Instead Australia are after just 95 to win the third Test and level the series with one Test to play.

But the threatened big innings from the Little Master has failed to materialise in Australia and the world's best team are aiming to keep it that way.

Williams was the best of the Australian bowlers with 4-53 off 22 overs.

He pitched the ball up and had Tendulkar caught behind trying to drive, similar to his dismissal in the first innings of the second Adelaide Test.

"His confidence is down a bit, so we we're really trying to go hard at him early and so far it's working," Williams said.

"It (today's dismissal) was probably the result of my plan, I don't know if it was in the team plan.

"I tried to get him driving, he looked pretty comfortable on the back foot. I was lucky to get the nick."

Tendulkar has ended 2003 with only 153 in five Tests at an average of 17.

He had lives at 12 and 24 on Monday, but generally looked fluent and teammate Rahul Dravid said Tendulkar had not gone into his shell.

Tendulkar made a first-ball duck in the first innings when he tried to glance paceman Brett Lee and was caught down the leg side by wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist.

"He's really hitting the ball well. In today's knock, he was batting really well, Dravid said.

"It's really bad luck if you get out flicking down leg side, it doesn't happen often.

"You go through phases like this where sometimes whatever you try, things don't seem to work out for you.

"The positive from our point of view is he's batting really well and he's in a good frame of mind - he seems his usual self and he's quite relaxed. We still believe he's the best."

Tendulkar has now also equalled his longest run of Test innings without a century, which was 13 at the start of his outstanding career.

First Published: Dec 29, 2003 14:56 IST