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First session will be crucial: Katich

Simon Katich says the first session of Tuesday's final day will be the key to Australia's against-the-odds run chase to win the final cricket Test against India.

india Updated: Jan 05, 2004 18:07 IST

Simon Katich says the first session of Tuesday's final day will be the key to Australia's against-the-odds run chase to win the final cricket Test here and the series against India.

Australia have to conjure up a world record-breaking performance to give skipper Steve Waugh a winning send-off at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

India set Australia a mammoth victory target of 443 after skipper Sourav Ganguly called a halt to his team's second innings at 211 for two.

The tourists now look odds on to gain at least a draw from the series-decider, with Australia needing to surpass the existing world record run chase of 418 set by the West Indies against them in Antigua last May.

Katich, who broke through for his maiden Test century with 125 in Australia's first innings 474 on Monday, said the opening session will be a gauge to Australia's chances.

"It will be a phenomenal effort, but we'll just have to see how we go after the first session, if we get through that, then we can reassess," Katich said after Monday's play.

"The way we play we try to be positive and that showed in our first innings, in the fact that we were able to score so quickly even though we were so far behind in the game.

"The guys feel that if you don't have that belief then obviously you've got no chance.

"From this point on it will be a tough battle tomorrow, but who knows what might happen."

Katich said leg-spinner Anil Kumble will be the biggest challenge to the Australian batsmen.

"Kumble has been able to bowl into the rough and he's got the ball to bounce on the odd occasion and turn, and as it showed he took eight wickets so he's going to be the biggest challenge for us."

Kumble became only the third man to take eight wickets in an innings at a Sydney Cricket Ground Test.

The 33-year-old leg-spin veteran captured 8-141 to dismiss Australia for 474 and give the tourists a massive 231-run innings lead in the series-deciding fourth and final Test.

It is almost 104 years since Englishman Thomas Richardson took 8-94 in an innings here in 1898.

First Published: Jan 05, 2004 18:07 IST