No room for individual records in Team India

Published: Tuesday, March 30, 2004, 1:47 [IST]
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Multan:Reflecting the new aggressive attitude of the Indian cricket team, stand-in skipper Rahul Dravid on Monday declared India's first innings in the first Test against Pakistan when Sachin Tendulkar was six runs short ofa double-century.

Tendulkar, who had come to the wicket on Sunday at the fall of Rahul Dravid with the score at 173 for two, was involved in a marathon 336-run partnership with his One-day opening partner Virender Sehwag.

Sehwag's was a brutal and brilliant innings from the very beginning and in sharp contrast to Tendulkar who played steadily but slowly in the circumstances. He took five hours and 209 balls to score his 33rd Test 100 and even thereafter was not really going after the bowling. The arrival of Yuvraj Singh gave a thrust to the Indian innings with the left-handerhitting 59 off 66 balls.

Apparently, Tendulkar had been sent a message from the dressing room to accelerate his march to a double-hundred but when Yuvraj fell, Dravid promptly declared leaving Tendulkar unbeaten on 194.

Tendulkar may have missed his first double-century against Pakistan but this is the third consecutive Test innings he has played this year in which he has remained unbeaten. He hit two unbeaten knocks of 241 and 60 against Australia at Sydney following it up with Monday's score that means he has remained unbeaten while scoring 495 runs.

Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan as well as Navjot Singh Sidhu, expert commentators with TEN Sports, noted that Dravid's declaration showed the new approach of the Indian team where team's interests get priority over individual records.

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