List of most runs by an opening pair is an eye opening table which significantly proves that every team to have dominated test cricket, had one..
Openers set the tone, put opposition on backfoot and make middle order batter's job easy. Gordon Greenidge with Desmond Haynes for West Indies in 1970-80s and Mathew Hayden with Justin Langer for Australia in 1990-2000s continuesly mesmerised opposition and from the current lot, Andrew Strauss with Alastair Cook are major factor behind England's rise as a solid test team. Today, Virendra Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir went past Strauss and Cook in terms of runs made together, re-writing new Indian record going ahead of Sunil Gavaskar and Chetan Chauhan, diluting New Zealand hopes for a victory in this Hyderabad test match after visitors had won a good toss yesterday and made a solid start.
Kiwis were sitting pretty at 258 for 4 wkts when day 2 commenced today but Zaheer Khan, swining the 5 over old ball both ways, drew first blood for Indians as early as in the 3rd over, trapping over night batsman Gareth Hopkin in front of wicket when wicket keeper tried to leave an incoming delivery. Couple of overs later, Indian left arm seamer did the same to young Kane Williamson to open the flood gates for home team Harbhajan Singh took over from other end, getting opposition captain Daniel Vettoti lbw and then luring tailender Tim Southee into a false stroke only to be stumped.
Jesse Ryder, left handed free stroking batsman has scored 3 century in his test career and all of them have come against India. Today, he looked set for his 4th one, counter attacking Indians when wickets were falling like a pack of cards from other end but he too edged a spinning Harbhajan delivery safe in VVS laxman's palms at the slip before claiming last man Chris Martin shortly after the lunch break.
New Zealand lost their last 7 wickets for just 144 runs in 29.2 overs.
On a saturday afternoon, Hyderabadi crowd started to stroll into Rajiv Gandhi stadium as Indian batting innings started and they were treated to some high class scoring by Indian openers Virendra Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir. The left-right hand combination started cautiously, negotiating some tight bowling from New zealand new ball bowlers with authority and then attacking after getting set.
Virendra Sehwag made just 2 runs from his first 23 balls and then, his next 72 balls fetched 80 powerful runs. Sehwag looked set for his test career's 24th century as he hit a lofted four off Daniel Vettori but in the process, he gestured angrily to some cameraman who had walked right in front of the sight screen. Sehwag's concentration was broken as he unleashed another slog off the next ball only to be clean bowled.
Gautam Gambhir, coming into this match under pressure as he had made just 87 runs in last 5 tests, scored a half century much to his and his team's relief. Gambhir struggled in most part of his innings but Sehwag's blitz from other end helped him though the rough part and right when he had started to look set, a Tim Southee delivery down the leg side took sleek edge of his bat to curtail his innings.
Rahul Dravid & Sachin Tendulkar ended day's play unbeaten, promising a super sunday.
The scores : end of day 2New Zealand 350 allout in 117.3 overs
McIntosh 102, Guptill 85, Ryder 70, Zaheer 4/69
Indians are 178 for 2 wickets from 49 overs so far
Virendra Sehwag 96, Gautam Gambhir 54, S Tendulkar 11*
Full scorecard : Ind v NZ, 2nd test, Hyderabad, 12-16 Nov 2010.
50 thousand plus runsis aggregated by Indian team on field in this match, calculating career runs of each player. New Zealand, on other hand, just have 12090 runs collectively, which is less than Sachin Tendulkar lone. can Kiwis beat such an experienced Indian team in their own backyard? 3 days to go..