India seek inspiration to deny Australia

Rahul Dravid said Thursday that India will need an inspired performance from their stellar batting lineup to deny Australia in the second Test in Sydney, after conceding a 468 first-innings deficit.

The tourists, trailing after last week's 122-run defeat in the first Test in Melbourne, will lose all hope of winning their first series in Australia if the hosts can force a result.

India reached third day stumps at 114 for two, still 354 runs behind, and will rely on Test cricket's greatest run-getter Sachin Tendulkar (8) and opener Gautam Gambhir (68) to lead the resistance.

"Who knows what can happen. We've got some quality players who can bat long periods of time but it's hard to think about two days from now right away," Dravid said.

"We need some inspiration... things haven't worked out but there's still time to go."

The Indian team have a reputation for long occupations of the crease, none more so than the "Miracle of Kolkata" Test in 2001, when they conjured one of the great come-from-behind wins, overcoming a 274-run first-innings deficit to beat Australia by 171 runs.

V.V.S. Laxman, the next man due in to bat, was the hero then with 281 and was also instrumental at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 2004 when the tourists amassed 705 for seven declared in their first innings.

Although that match ended in a draw, India batted for 806 minutes and 187.3 overs, with Laxman posting 178 and Tendulkar 248 as the pair combined for a 353-run partnership.

"There's nothing to lose in the sense that we're so far behind now," Dravid said.

"We've just got to go out and play and not even think about drawing the game or anything like that, just go out there to play and bat as long as you can and who knows?

"I think the key for us is obviously to keep them on the field for long periods of time.

"If we can keep the Australian bowlers and fielders in the field for 100 overs then we can put them under pressure or see some of their bowlers become weary."

Dravid, who was bowled for a third time in the series for 29 on Thursday, said India were paying for their mediocre 191 in the first innings.

"We didn't bat well, that's why we find ourselves in this position. I think 190-odd was not good enough on that wicket in the first innings," he said.

Tendulkar is bidding for his 100th international century and has a phenomenal record at the SCG, where he has scored three hundreds.

"Every situation is set up for (Sachin). For us and from a team's perspective I hope it happens tomorrow. Obviously that means we would have scored a few runs then," Dravid said.

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