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Nice to get a hundred at Eden: Ganguly
Harish Kotian in Kolkata | December 01, 2007 18:37 IST
It turned out to be a long wait of 11 years for Sourav Ganguly [Images] before posting his first Test century on his home ground, the historic Eden Gardens.
The left-hander, who scored a century on debut at Lord's, made no secret of his joy after reaching the three-figure mark on Day 2 of the second Test in Kolkata.
"It feels nice to get a hundred anywhere, but at Eden Gardens it feels a bit different, because I've played all my life on this ground. And to have ended without a Test hundred here would have been disappointing," an elated Ganguly at the end of the day's play on Saturday.
Before this century, Ganguly's highest Test score at the Eden Gardens was 65, against Australia in 1997-98. His record at the ground was also not that impressive, having scored 292 runs in seven matches at an average of 24.33. But the former India captain finally struck gold. He showed great composure and the magic of his timing to notch his 14th Test century. His innings of 102, that included 14 boundaries in 156 deliveries, had the spectators cheering every single run he took.
"I just wanted to bat, play on the merit of the ball. I knew it was a fast outfield and that I would get value for my shots. The important thing was to bat long and not throw it away. What also helped was the taking of the second new ball when I came in to bat yesterday. The SG ball gets soft and then it doesn't travel too far off the bat. But with the new ball I got good value for shots," he said.
Wasim Jaffer led the batting honours for India with a scintillating double century -- 202 off 274 deliveries that included 34 boundaries. VVS Laxman also gave Kolkata fans plenty to cheer about during his unbeaten knock of 112, while Sachin Tendulkar [Images] fell for 82 as India amassed 616 for five declared in their first innings.
Ganguly also hoped that someday he could achieve the magical double-century mark in Tests.
"I hope it comes sometime before I finish," he added.
The left-hander, whose stay at the wicket stretched more than four hours, said winning the toss was a big advantage as India enjoyed the best batting conditions on the first two days.
The first two days was a hard toil for the bowlers as 666 runs were scored for the loss of just six wickets in 168.5 overs.
"The first two days were the best batting conditions. It was a good toss to win. The surface will be good for batting tomorrow also. But probably after tea tomorrow and on the last two days it will turn a lot more than it's doing now. On sub-continental pitches the game can change very quickly on the fourth and fifth day," he said.
"The spinners will definitely be the most important cog. But reverse swing will also come into play in the afternoon. The pitch is already very dry and there are footmarks. It's going to be a result pitch," the veteran said.
The left-hander said with such a huge score in the kitty, India would go all out for victory.
Obviously, with 600 on the board and three days to go on a deteriorating pitch that is only going to get worse. If we bowl well we can pick 20 wickets," he said.
Ganguly also dispelled doubts about the fitness of Zaheer Khan [Images], who bowled just 1.2 overs before heading to the pavilion with some injury.
"The injury to Zaheer is not serious. He's going to be bowling tomorrow," he said.