A miracle too far for Waugh - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

A miracle too far for Waugh

By Michael Donaldson 05/01/2004 08:55:44 PM Comments (0)

As miracles go, this one looks too hard for even St Stephen.

The chances of Australia making a world-record 433 in 90 overs on the final day to beat India in the series-deciding Test at the SCG and send retiring captain Steve Waugh out a winner are a hair's breadth from zero.

The best winning total in Test history is the 7-418 West Indies made against Australia at St Johns, Antigua last year.

Battling the wily spin of Anil Kumble for an honourable draw is a much better hope and if there's anything Stephen Waugh is good at, it's fighting for survival.

Indian batting star Rahul Dravid, who made 91 not out in India's second innings of 2-211 declared, said Australia had virtually no chance of winning but was capable of seeing out the day.

"It's still a good wicket - the chances of them batting through the day are pretty good," Dravid said.

"We'll need a big effort, we'll need someone to bowl well but hopefully the wicket might play a few tricks on the last day."

Dravid said the first session would tell the story of the day.

"The first session will be critical. The key to their batting has been the top three players - Langer, Hayden and Ponting have been the ones who have scored most of the runs and they are the key to the game tomorrow.

"If we can get them early, we can put pressure on them. But if they start batting really well, we'll have to reassess the situation.

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