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Ton delights Tendulkar

Little Master lights up Sydney as India manage massive total

Tendulkar celebrates at the SCG

Sachin Tendulkar is hoping his great start to 2008 will continue after beginning the new year with a century against Australia in Sydney.

'The Little Master' made 154 not out on day three to help India gain what could prove a crucial first innings lead over their hosts.

On a personal level the hundred - his 38th in Test cricket - also ended a run of near misses. He had made seven scores in the 90's in 2007.

Now he's hoping reaching three figures at the first time of asking in 2008 bodes well for the rest of the year.

Missed hundreds

"In 2007 I had missed a lot of hundreds and I didn't want that to continue," he said.

"I wanted to move on and the beginning of 2008 was extremely important. I'm quite relieved and it came at the right time (in the match) so I'm happy about that."

Tendulkar's innings, which was aided by some excellent resistance from the lower order, got India up to 532 - giving them a lead of 69.

Australia managed to see out a tricky short session before the close of play but will start day four still 56 runs behind.

Admitting that the game is 'nicely poised', Tendulkar believes the visitors must take it session-by-session if they are to have a chance of squaring the four-match series at 1-1.

"We don't want to take anything for granted in this game," he said.

"Right now it's nicely poised, it's evenly poised, we will have to put up a good show tomorrow and win more sessions.

"We try and win sessions, and the more number of sessions that we win will put us in a good position."

Meanwhile, India spinner Harbhajan Singh has been charged with 'using language or gestures that offends another person on the basis of that person's race, religion, gender, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin'.

Harbhajan will attend a hearing chaired by Mike Proctor on Saturday following an incident with Andrew Symonds on the third day of the second Test in Sydney.