Australia v India, 2nd Test, Sydney, 2nd day January 3, 2008

'We're in a pretty good spot now' - Lee



Adam Gilchrist was uncharacteristically sloppy behind the stumps but Brett Lee expects him to be back at his best soon © Getty Images
 

Brett Lee was relieved Australia ended the day on a high by interrupting India's strong resistance with the important late wickets of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman. India, who were 3 for 216 in reply to Australia's 463, were enjoying their best period of the tour when Dravid and Laxman combined in a 175-run stand, but their hopes of reaching stumps ended within six balls.

Brad Hogg, who had waited until the 42nd over for a bowl, picked up Laxman for a superb 109 after Mitchell Johnson finally removed Dravid (53) when he slashed to Matthew Hayden at first slip. "They were crucial wickets right at the end there, to get Laxman and Dravid, they were batting beautifully," Lee said. "The Australian way is to hang in there and we always think we're a chance of taking wickets, especially late in the day.

"For us to go in with one wicket down at the end would have been a different story, but to get those last two were brilliant. We're in a pretty good spot now."

Sachin Tendulkar reached stumps on 9 while Sourav Ganguly was 21 and Lee is looking forward to attacking them on day three. "It's going to be a fine test, bowling against Sachin," Lee said. "We'll try to tie him up and keep the right line and length."

Lee is also confident Adam Gilchrist can recover from an uncharacteristically sloppy day in the field. Gilchrist dropped two relatively easy catches while Johnson also missed the opportunity to remove Dravid when he was caught by Ricky Ponting from a no-ball.

"It happens, batsmen play bad shots, bowlers bowl bad balls, sometimes wicketkeepers miss catches," Lee said. "Gilly has got great hands, which he showed with the way he kept in the last game, and he will forget what happened and take some spectacular catches.

"There was a bit of bad luck with our fielding, but we stuck at our guns. You have days like that and unfortunately the luck went to the batsmen."

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo