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~~Sachin should have been allowed to get 200~~

Published: Wednesday, March 31, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Mumbai:Sachin Tendulkar has found support from Australian captain Ricky Ponting who says that he would not have declared if one of his batsmen was on 194.

Asked about the controversy surrounding stand-in captain Rahul Dravid's declaration in the Multan Test when Tendulkar was batting on 194, Ponting said, "I would not have (declared) if my batsman was on 194, especially if the Test was at the stage where the Multan match was."

Ponting felt the match situation did not warrant such a sharp decision from the captain as to deny the batsman an important milestone.

"I felt at the stage where this Test was at that time, Sachin should have been allowed to go for a double (ton) and he was just six short," the World Cup winning captain said.

"A player like Sachin would have needed one or at the most two overs in Test cricket to get those six runs and in my opinion the Indians should have allowed him to get that milestone. "If Sachin is feeling a bit down, I can understand why," Ponting said.

Dravid, leading the team in Sourav Ganguly's absence due to injury, declared the Indian first innings at 675 for five on the second day with one hour to go for stumps.

Virender Sehwag cracked the first ever triple-century by an Indian while Tendulkar notched up his 33rd Test hundred and was poised for his fourth career double century when Dravid terminated the innings.

Ponting lauded Sehwag's achievement but said the cavalier batsman still had some distance to go before he could be compared to the likes of Michael Slater.

"It's a fantastic achievement. A 300 on any wicket against any opposition is not easy... and Sehwag did it against some of the fastest bowlers in the world.

"I am not bothered by technique. He has got a 300 against bowlers who are not exactly medium pace, so that proves he can bat. "To be honest, Sehwag, with all due respect, still has some way to go before he can be compared to Slater. Michael was a class opening bat and while Sehwag is talented, he is not as experienced as Slater," he said.

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