One more ton & Gambhir will stand with the Don | cricket | Hindustan Times
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One more ton & Gambhir will stand with the Don

A prolific run-getter from Delhi, Gautam Gambhir is on the verge of equalling Sir Don Bradman's more than 70-year-old record of six centuries in six matches as India take on Bangladesh in the second Test at the Sher-e Bangla National Stadium today, reports Nilankur Das.

cricket Updated: Jan 24, 2010 00:57 IST
Nilankur Das

Before the start of this two-match Test series, Sachin Tendulkar was on the verge of 13,000 Test runs. He got it on the first day at Chittagong where he brought up his 44th Test century. Tendulkar's race against Ricky Ponting for the highest Test centuries and most Test runs would continue for some time until one of them retires.

But a prolific run-getter from Delhi, Gautam Gambhir, has, for the time being, pushed that battle to the backseat as India take on Bangladesh in the second Test at the Sher-e Bangla National Stadium from Sunday. The left-handed opener is on the verge of equalling Sir Don Bradman's more than 70-year-old record of six centuries in six matches.

And though after scoring his fifth in five at Chittagong, Gambhir had said records don't mean a thing, he knows deep down that he won't get a better opportunity than against the lowest ranked team.

Trying to better another Bradman record is Virender Sehwag. On this batting-friendly wicket and against an inexperienced bowling line-up, Sehwag should be eyeing his third triple-ton having missed a shot at the record against Sri Lanka last month when he fell on 293 in Mumbai.

Against a side he has not scored many Test runs, the India vice-captain should be raring to go. In three matches against Bangladesh, he has scored just 120 runs, a sharp fall from a career average of 52.43.

Both openers keep talking of the importance of good starts and that's what India would be looking up to them for. Both know that after the initial 10-15 overs, the Kookaburra ball can be milked, especially in the sub-continental conditions.

India would be bolstered by the return of Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh after both missed the Chittagong Test due to injuries. With the return of the off-spinner and an injury to S. Sreesanth, India could go back to a two-spinner and two-seamer combination.

VVS Laxman's injury has opened the door for either Murali Vijay or Dinesh Karthik. The former has opened in the two matches he has played for India, but he could be given an opportunity in the middle-order here primarily because Karthik was not too impressive in the first Test.

But, then again, as Dhoni is recovering from a back problem, keeping Karthik in the side would give the India captain an option of handing him the gloves if he feels uncomfortable.