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'Sachin under pressure to perform'

"He wants runs badly. We should keep the pressure on him when he comes in tomorrow," said the South African skipper.

india Updated: Nov 26, 2005 13:18 IST

Sachin Tendulkar, standing on the threshold of a personal milestone, will be under considerable pressure to perform and the South Africans will try to take advantage of that factor, according to skipper Graeme Smith.

"He (Sachin) wants runs badly. We should keep the pressure on him when he comes in tomorrow," Smith said after a practice session at the Eden Gardens on Thursday.

Tendulkar, all set to become the most capped player (357) in ODIs, had a sudden dip in his form after the first two matches against Sri Lanka, averaging 12.5 runs in the last six outings.

Noting that Eden has been Tendulkar's happy hunting ground, Smith said frontline bowlers Shaun Pollock and Makhaya Ntini would aim at sending him back early with the new ball.

Asked if the absence of local hero Sourav Ganguly in Friday's game would be an advantage for them, he said in a lighter vein "I was waiting for this question" and added "we are only looking forward to playing our own game".

The 24-year-old left hander hailed the new found enthusiasm and 'extra energy' in the Indian squad with the inclusion of some youngsters.

"They seem a lot happier and seem to be gelling quite well. This injection of youth means a bit of extra energy around them."

"If we can perform well here, we can destroy this (enthusiasm)," he quipped.

First Published: Nov 24, 2005 19:35 IST