Kiwis would find high-flying India hard to stop in Test opener

Published: Thursday, November 4, 2010, 10:00 [IST]
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After humiliating Ricky Ponting's Australia last month, India will look to fly high again, this time against New Zealand.

But the cynosure of all eyes in the first match of the three-Test series, which gets under way on Thursday at the Sardar Patel Stadium at Motera near here, will undoubtedly be Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.

The batting maestro is just one century away from a rare, rare 'golden jubilee' and hopes are high that he will scale yet another peak at a venue that has seen several world records topple over the years.Sunil Gavaskar had overtaken Englishman Geoffrey Boycott as the highest run-getter in Tests here.

The Little Master had also crossed the 10,000-run barrier at this very venue. Even Kapil Dev has happy memories of this stadium. The former India skipper had gone past New Zealander Richard Hadlee's record of 431 Test wickets at this picturesque ground.

As a matter of fact, Tendulkar had scored his first double hundred at Motera - in 1999 against the same opponents - and millions of Indian fans will be hoping that he cracks his 50th Test century during the course of the first Test. It could well be the perfect Diwali gift for India's cricket-crazy public.

The Master Blaster had a close look at the wicket on Wednesday. And he seemed to be happy with what he saw.

"We have celebrated milestones of every player and we certainly would do it again when Sachin hits his 50th hundred," Mahendra Singh Dhoni told reporters on Wednesday.

Dion Global Solutions Ltd

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