Ton puts Gambhir in dreamland
Gautam Gambhir said he was living the dream after his second century of the series gave India the upper hand in Delhi.
Last Updated: 29/10/08 2:04pm
Gautam Gambhir said he was living the dream after his second century of the series gave India the upper hand in the third Test against Australia.
The opener batted throughout the first day at Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi to reach 149 not out and guide his side to 296-3.
That knock followed on from his 104 in the second innings of the second Test, a match India won by 320 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the four-match Border-Gavaskar Trophy series.
"I had a dream to score runs against Australia and perhaps the dream is coming true," said Gambhir.
"I still remember my debut Test match - it wasn't anything to remember and I was determined to make runs in this series.
"It was a big motivation for me coming into this series and so far it has been working for me."
Gambhir will treasure both his centuries, but believes this one could turn out to be more important.
"Both are very different centuries," he said.
"In Mohali, we were 200 runs ahead and we had the freedom of playing our natural game.
"Here it was the first innings of a Test match and it's really important to set the tone for the entire five days.
"Prior to Mohali I was under a lot of pressure as I was getting starts, but was unable to convert them.
"I always believed that a hundred was just around the corner and if I got one it would be the turning point.
"Perhaps I am a lot more relaxed now, having got that hundred at Mohali."
Gambhir shared a stand worth 130 with Sachin Tendulkar and an unbroken 139 with VVS Laxman for the third and fourth wickets respectively.
The left-hander reached three figures in the evening session by smashing medium pacer Shane Watson over long-on for six, a shot he claimed was the safest available.
"It was the only option I had because there were fielders all around me to save the single," he added.
"I thought the best thing was to go over the top. It was an instinctive shot and the safer option rather than trying to tuck the ball and attempting a single."
Gambhir played down his verbal altercations with Simon Katich and Watson - who he nudged with his elbow while completing a single.
"It's part of the game," he said. "They were really desperate to get me out and they were trying to get me to lose concentration.
"I didn't do it deliberately."
Gambhir is predicting difficult times ahead for batsmen as the match progresses.
"We've got two quality spinners in our side and the way (Amit) Mishra bowled in the last match, it's not going to be easy for the Australians," he reckoned.
"If we bat well tomorrow Australia will be under a lot of pressure.
"It's not going to be easy at all especially if you look at the amount of turn which (part-time spinner) Simon Katich was getting. This is the first day mind you.
"The ball always turns at the Feroz Shah Kotla from the third day so it's going to be hard work for the Australians.
"The bounce is also inconsistent on the third, fourth and fifth days when the wicket starts breaking.
"Given the quality of our seamers, Australia will find it difficult."