Nagpur proves a happy hunting ground for Das
Staff Reporter - 23 February 2002
The Vidarbha Cricket Association ground at Nagpur must hold a special place in opener Shiv Sunder Das' heart. On Friday, the right-handed batsman scored his second Test hundred - both coming at Nagpur - enabling his side to reach a sound position at the close of play on the second day.
Though the Orissa batsman does not rate this knock one of his best, Das said that he was more than happy with his innings. Speaking to the media after the end of the second day’s play, he said that rated his 84 in Chennai as his best innings till date. “The innings in Chennai came at a crucial juncture. Moreover, I was up against bowlers like (Glenn) McGrath, (Shane) Warne and (Jason) Gillespie. So there is just no comparison," he said.
Speaking about the Nagpur stadium, where Das has now scored a ton in both matches he has played here, Das maintained that the track was very much tailored for runs to be scored. “It has been very good throughout the day for batting. It has been a little better, compared to the last time when I played here,” Das said. He added that, this time around, the pitch had been very slow. “Shot-making was a little more difficult this time than in the last Test at Nagpur,” he said.
Having now played in 17 Tests, the Orissa cricketer said that there was never any nervousness during the innings, the only exciting factor being that he achieved the century after a continuous drought of three-figure knocks lasting 13 Test matches. His only century (110) came here against Zimbabwe in November 2000.
Das praised opening partner Deep Dasgupta and vice-captain Rahul Dravid for giving him wonderful support. “Deep and Dravid supported well. The only mistake was to have brought Sachin (Tendulkar) out to bat only for four balls,” said Das.
Among the Zimbabwean bowlers who sweated it out through searing afternoon heat, “it was Heath Streak,” Das mentioned, who really posed a threat in the early half of the Indian innings. Dedicating the knock to coach John Wright and his teammates, the diminutive batsman ended by saying that the Orange City had once again proved lucky for him.