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Waugh scraps on

Australia found themselves in a prickly position when Damien Martyn was dismissed. But out came Steve Waugh, and with two fighting partnerships, put victory beyond India's reach.

Waugh accumulated runs in a very familiar way; scrapping away, looking ungainly, but scoring runs all the same. And on reaching fifty, he became only the second batsman to score 50 half-centuries. One-third of Australia's boundaries came off Waugh's bat. At one stage, when he was on 49, 40 of those runs came from fours.

As for his main run-scoring areas, Waugh preferred the square, cover, and midwicket regions, as he cut, square-drove and flicked the bowlers to the fence. In fact, once Waugh drove a ball, it stayed driven; the cover region brought him 21 runs - one single, and five fours.

Waugh recognises a threat when he sees one, and today, he didn't mess with Anil Kumble. Only 18 came off the 75 deliveries that Kumble bowled to him, and he made sure to put his front foot a long way down whenever possible. Even Murali Kartik was given similar respect, but that's where the parallel ended. Waugh took a liking to his left-arm spin, and gave it the works. Against Kumble he scored at a rate of 1.44 every six balls, while the corresponding figure for Kartik was 5.4.

Katich, on the other hand, liked what he saw of Kumble, and proceeded to score heavily against him. But he found Kartik a different proposition, handling him with more care than he had done in the first innings.

Continuing from where he left off yesterday, Katich's strategy was to step out to the spinners, and getting on to his back foot at other times. Like in the first innings, it worked again. Of the top six batsmen, his was the highest percentage of deliveries played off the back foot.

In the previous innings, Kartik was carted around by the two Australian openers who were in tremendous form. In the second innings, with Matthew Hayden dismissed, Kartik settled down to bowl with control and extracted prodigious turn, making life that much more difficult.