Warhorses Tendulkar, Ganguly cap a landmark day for India(Roundup)October 17th, 2008 - 9:19 pm ICT by IANS
Mohali, Oct 17 (IANS) It was a day of milestones for two of India’s cricketing heroes during the second Test against Australia here Friday. Sachin Tendulkar became the first batsman in the world to cross the 12,000 run mark in Tests while Sourav Ganguly, playing his last Test series, reached another landmark by becoming the fourth Indian batsman to score 7,000 Test runs.Tendulkar in the process surpassed West Indian Brian Lara’s record of 11,953 runs to be the leading scorer in Tests.
The two batting greats also resurrected India’s innings from a precarious 163 for four to end the day at a healthy 311 for five.
The 35-year old Tendulkar achieved the milestone off debutant pacer Peter Siddle in the first ball after tea.
The record led to celebrations amongst the crowds, who stood up to applaud his achievment. Tendulkar then took off his helmet and looked heavenwards in silent thanksgiving while Australian players, including captain Ricky Ponting, shook hands with him one by one to congratulate him even as firecrackers burst all over the stadium.
He reached this mark in 152 Tests at an average of 54.02 runs compared to Lara’s average of 52.89 in 131 Tests.
Tendulkar looked set for a century but got out 12 short of what would have been his 40th ton. Ganguly is still batting on 54. Debutant Peter Siddle got the prized scalp of Tendulkar for his maiden international cricket.
Congratulatory messages poured in for Tendulkar led by President Pratibha Patil.
“You have given joy to countless Indians with your batting,” Patil said in a message.
Tendulkar, who made his his Test debut in 1989 against Pakistan, now holds the record of top scorer in both One-Day Internationals with 16,361 runs and Tests. He has amassed more than 25,000 international runs by scoring a record 39 centuries in Tests and 42 centuries in ODIs.
Earlier, India were off to a steamy start in the morning session after winning the toss, with openers Virender Sehwag (35) and Gautam Gambhir (67) putting on a strokeful 70 runs for the first wicket before Mitchell Johnson forced Sehwag to a leg-side tickle caught by wicket-keeper Brad Haddin.
India’s collapse started in the 41st over when Rahul Dravid (39) dragged a Brett Lee delivery onto his stumps. Two balls later, a confident looking opener Gautam Gambhir (67) was caught behind off Mitchell Johnson. Gambhir’s knock was studded with nine boundaries.
V.V.S.Laxman too perished cheaply for 12, also caught by Haddin off Johnson, who was the most successful Australian bowler claiming three wickets from his first 15 overs.
Both Tendulkar and Ganguly then steadied the Indian innings, attaining their personal milestones in the process.