Sachin Tendulkar was the happiest man this Saturday for more than one reason. His long cherished dream of scoring a Test double hundred was realised today. More than that, the top order of India batting line-up clicked at the right moment.
The long, challenging Australian tour will start from the last week of November. Thus the deeds of India batsmen against New Zealand in the third and final Test against New Zealand would be received with unprecedented joy.
Apart from Tendulkar's grand knock of 217, there were two other century-makers in India's first innings in this Ahmedabad Test. Sadagopan Ramesh had made 110 on the opening day, and today, the second day, Sourav Ganguly raced to his seventh Test hundred (125). In reply to India's massive 583 for 7 declared, New Zealand had made 18 for one by the draw of stumps.
Tendulkar, after today's play, said that he was immensely satisfied at the success of the top order batting before the Australian tour. Tendulkar's feeling was quite understandable, as no India captain would like to see a top order collapse. For, India possesses some classy bowlers to drive home the advantage of a big total piled up by an equally well-equipped batting line-up.
Unfortunately, this has not been happening as frequently as the ardent followers of Indian cricket would have expected. After Ramesh had done a responsible job on Friday by adding 82 runs for the second wicket with Rahul Dravid and 80 runs with Tendulkar for the third wicket, the skipper took command. Tendulkar was on 104 at stumps on Friday with Ganguly showing a lot of promise with an unbeaten 51.
Today, the two treated the crowd to some grand exhibition of batsmanship. Maintaining a commendable run-rate, the two went on to add 281 runs for the fourth wicket.