Sydney: Sachin Tendulkar scored a record 38th Test century, his eighth against Australia, to fuel India's chase for an innings lead in the second cricket Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday.
'The Little Master' thrilled the crowd who gave him an ovation as he stretched his world record number of centuries to four more than West Indian Brian Lara and fellow Indian Sunil Gavaskar.
Tendulkar, playing in his 144th Test match and the second all-time leading Test run-getter behind Lara, was the last recognised batsman at the crease and received stout support from off-spinner Harbhajan Singh to repulse the Australians.
At tea on the third day, India were 424 for seven and trailing Australia's 463 first innings by 39 runs with Tendulkar unconquered on 106 and Harbhajan not out 41.
The 34-year-old Indian cricket hero continued his prolific scoring association with the SCG, scoring his third century at the ground in four Tests and swelling his SCG average to an unfinished 201.
On India's last tour to Australia in 2003/04 Tendulkar scored an unbeaten 241 and he also hit an unconquered 148 in the drawn 1992 Sydney Test in his first tour of Australia.
Centuries by Tendulkar and V.V.S. Laxman (109) have given India the chance to take a crucial innings lead and help them batting last on the drying SCG pitch.
India lost two wickets in the middle session with Australia paceman Brett Lee and wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist combining for the dismissials of Mahendra Dhoni (2) and skipper Anil Kumble (2).
Dhoni's wicket was Gilchrist's 400th Test dismissal.
In the morning session leg-spinner Brad Hogg enticed Sourav Ganguly on 67 to hit over the top of the ringed field only to find Mike Hussey at deep mid-off.
Ganguly slammed his bat into the ground before he left the wicket annoyed that he had fallen for the Australian trap set for him.
The former Indian skipper batted for 116 minutes and hit seven fours and a straight hit six off spinner Michael Clarke off 78 balls and put on 108 for the fourth wicket with Tendulkar.
Yuvraj Singh followed up his duck and five in last week's first Melbourne Test with another batting failure.
The under-fire No.6 was trapped leg before wicket for 12 by a Brett Lee inswinger.
Yuvraj held his place in the side for the Sydney Test despite a push for opener Virender Sehwag to rejoin the team after a year out of Test cricket and ease Rahul Dravid back to his customary No.3 batting position.