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'Tired and weary theory an excuse'

Former Australian captain Bobby Simpson suggested Sachin Tendulkar should watch the ball more closely to solve his batting woes.

india Updated: Feb 07, 2004 15:47 IST

Former Australian captain and coach Bobby Simpson on Saturday suggested star batsman Sachin Tendulkar watch the ball a little more closer to solve the batting woes that have bogged him down once again on the current tour.

"To me he looks a player who could be watching the ball a little more closer," said Simpson on the sidelines of the team's practice session on Saturday.

India take on Australia in a do-or-die second final in the triseries at the SCG on Sunday. They lost the first of three finals by seven wickets at Melbourne on Friday.

"Sachin is going through one of those patches which happen because you play so much of cricket and you would have your good and bad days.

"That is an easy habit to get into," he said.

Tendulkar extended his form of the Sydney Test, in which he hit his career best 241 not out, into the one-dayers with scores of 63, 44 and 86 early on.

But since returning from a mini-break when he was rested for three matches, he had failed to post a double digit score.

Simpson was one more voice of assistance sought by the Indians on a tour where men as different as Sandy Gordon, Bruce Reid, Ian Healy, Wasim Akram and Dean Jones have pro-offered technical help.

Simpson, architect of Australia's rise as the cricket superpower since the 1990s, came over to the nets and offered extensive advices to Parthiv Patel, Sanjay Bangar, Hemang Badani and Amit Bhandari.

Simpson did not meet Tendulkar or other senior member of the Indian side but the handful who came early benefited from the distilled wisdom of former Australian coach though.

Simpson said a mixture of good Australian bowling and some 'funny batting' cost the Indians the first final but they could be a force in the second provided they played up to their potential.

"The Indians got out in funny ways and the Australians bowled very, very well," said Simpson.

"They did not look as sharp as they were (in the early part of the series) and there were a couple of shots which I am sure would not happen again.

"If they want to be a force in the second game at the SCG tomorrow, they need to play up to their skills.

"They need to take it up to the Aussies," said the former great on the eve of second of three tri-series finals on Sunday.

Simpson refused to buy the theory that Indians could be too tired after a long and gruelling tour and said the Australians, who've played same amount of cricket, do not seem to be affected by the fatigue syndrome.

"It's an excuse (if they speak about the tiredness). I hope not (they are tired). I wouldn't admit it if I was them.

"Don't forget the Australians have been playing the same amount of cricket, if not more."

Simpson didn't think the matches at Perth have put the Indians off their games.

"I always believed Perth is one of the better wickets to bat against fast bowling, because you know exactly where the ball is going to be.

"To have the self-belief though is a good thing but good players have it anyway."