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jilljill
12-26-2004, 04:59 AM
Virender Sehwag’s triple ton: The opener's knock of 309 against arch rivals Pakistan in the first cricket Test in March 2004 rocked the cricketing world. The Nawab of Najafgarh became the Sultan of Multan on achieving this laudable feat.

"I can't believe that I have done it. May be it will sink in after a couple of days. All I can say is that it is a great feeling. It is very special because it has come against Pakistan," Sehwag said. (after knocking a brilliant 309 against Pakistan)

Sehwag not only eclipsed team mate VVS Laxman's 281, highest individual Test score by an Indian established against Australia at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata in 2001, but also recorded the highest individual score against Pakistan, erasing Sanjay Manjrekar's 218 established in Lahore during the 1989-90 series.

Surpassing Matthew Hayden's world record of 380 crossed Sehwag's mind but he was quite happy to get 309.

"I was trying to go for that, but could not succeed. But I am happy to get 309."

Captain Sourav Ganguly, said "It was an outstanding innings which settled the issue about opening the innings. He has done a phenomenal job at the top of the order."

jilljill
12-26-2004, 04:59 AM
Rahul Dravid ‘Mr Safe Hands’: Rahul Dravid is ‘The Wall’ not only when taking his guard against the bowlers but also one of the safest pair of hands in Team India when it comes to taking catches.

When Dravid held on to Darren Lehmann's edge off the bowling of Murali Kartik, during the 2004 India-Australia series, he equalled Sunil Gavaskar's record tally of 108 catches – (highest by any Indian fieldsman). Dravid took only 81 Tests as against Gavaskar's 125 to equal his record. In his dual role of a frontline batsman and also the wicketkeeper, Dravid has once again proved his mettle.

jilljill
12-26-2004, 05:00 AM
Anil Kumble – highest Indian wicket taker: The 34-year-old created history by surpassing Kapil Dev's decade-old record of 434 wickets to become the highest wicket-taker for India in Test cricket.

Anil Kumble achieved Kapil's milestone in just 91 Tests whereas Kapil Dev had taken the 434 wickets in 131 Test matches.

Ever since he made his debut in 1990 against England his consistency has been remarkable. His victims read a virtual who's who in the cricketing world. He has taken five wickets 28 times in his career. Australians are his favourite fodder. He has shaken them down nine times for a five-wicket haul.

Champion Speak:

Harbhajan Singh: His intensity and commitment has remained as it was in the first Test. At 34, he can embarrass a 20 year old with his involvement in the game.

Sourav Ganguly: Anil Kumble is a fantastic bowler. I have seen him since the under-15 days and his commitment to the game is just great. You just have to see his achievements in the past 10 years to understand his contribution to the game.

Rahul Dravid: I had always wanted to be a part of this record. It feels nice that I actually got to hold the catch that got him there.

Anil Kumble: People are saying 'get to 500' so I'll have to put up with it. I just have to go out there and keep getting wickets. It's really satisfying.

jilljill
12-26-2004, 05:00 AM
Irfan Pathan, youngest Indian pacer to get a 10-wkt haul: Irfan Pathan, at 20 years and 46 days, became the youngest Indian pacer to claim 10 wickets in a Test. He bettered Chetan Sharma's feat (20 yrs, 186 days). S Venkataraghavan (18 yrs, 335 days) holds the Indian record for all bowlers.

Irfan scalped 11 in India's first Test match against Bangladesh in the ongoing series to earn the honour and also bagged the Man of the Match award.

Son of a muezzin hailing from communal hotspot Vadodara, Irfan started playing cricket in galli-mohallas and grabbed attention.

Fine-tuning himself without any professional help, so to speak, surviving on borrowed equipment, the handsome-curly haired stormed into the national squad. The Vadodara lad’s breathtaking debut against biggies Australia and Pakistan even worked a miracle balm among the polarised communities of Vadodara.

Pathan's maiden appearance was in the historic Adelaide Test last December when India recorded its first win in Australia in 20 years.

Since then, Pathan has been the team’s bowling spearhead, his left-arm swing bowling proving to be a key weapon for Ganguly.

Former Pakistani captain Wasim Akram, who has been role model and mentor, has said that Pathan was a more mature bowler than he was at his age. Combined with his batting potential, many say he is the first all rounder India has produced after Kapil Dev. But the youngster doesn't want to be carried away by comparisons with former greats.

jilljill
12-26-2004, 05:01 AM
Zaheer Khan is no bunny with the bat: Zaheer Khan blasted 75 against Bangladesh in the first match of the two-Test series in Dhaka of late to score the highest ever by a No.11 bastman in Test cricket.

He added 133 runs with master blaster Sachin Tendulkar to mark the best 10th wicket stand, going past a 52-year-old mark.

The record-breaking half century has capped his successful comeback from a period of injuries and low form.

From the high of spearheading the Indian bowling in the World Cup, things changed upside down for Zaheer within a year's time as he watched from the sidelines his team score victories in Australia and Pakistan.

But now that his worst days are behind him, the Baroda fast bowler is keen to look forward.

"You can't help certain things. I want to look ahead and keep moving, I am sure there are more good things ahead for me," Zaheer says.

Zaheer has not been exactly among the wickets this season and for the most part been a support cast to his state-mate Irfan Pathan.

But there has been the endurance and consistency that marked him as a talent when he made his debut four years ago, especially in the Kanpur Test against South Africa where he was the team's only recognised fast bowler.

The one thing that may be lacking in his bowling is the speed. He had averaged near the 130 kmph mark whereas he used to bowl close to 140 kmph earlier.

Zaheer said a bit more fine tuning would help him add a couple of yards to his pace. "It is all about rhythm. When you hit the right length your pace becomes better. I also need to work a bit more on my fitness," says the left-arm seamer.

jilljill
12-26-2004, 05:01 AM
The masters meet at crossroads: Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar equalled little master Sunil Gavaskar’s record after he hit his 34 th century against Bangladesh in the first Test in 2004.

"It's a great feeling to equal the record, and a greater honour...I don't believe it. It is not the first time that I've heard such talks but I've hit back again and I'll continue this way,” said Master Blaster, who equalled this record, getting his personal best.

Legendary Sunil Gavaskar congratulated Sachin Tendulkar for equalling his world record of 34 Test centuries, saying he was more precious to the Indians than even the 'Kohinoor' and must not stop before 50 centuries.

"We may not have the Kohinoor but we have Sachin and to us Indians he's worth far more and even more precious," Gavaskar said in his congratulatory message to Tendulkar.

"It's a moment to be proud as Indians and congratulations are also due to his family and friends who have helped him to be the cricketer and the person he is," he further added.

Kalyan
02-13-2005, 07:55 PM
The statistics are awesome... But was the year really that good??