Thursday, July 29, 2010

Raina first since Viru to hit ton on debut

Middle order batsman Suresh Raina on Thursday became the first Indian player since Virender Sehwag to hit a century on his Test debut on day four of the second Test against Sri Lanka here.

Raina, who started the day on his overnight score of 66, brought up his ton with a four off Damnika Prasad in the 126th over of the Indian innings. He is also the third left-hander to score 100 on debut after Surendra Amarnath and Sourav Ganguly and the 12th overall.

Raina, who has had to wait for a long time to get a chance in Test cricket, has made it count in the first go itself. With this knock, he is sure to be picked for the third and final Test of this series.

What is interesting to note is that both the debut centurions for India in the last decade played alongside Sachin Tendulkar and hit tons in tough situations.

In 2001, Sehwag had come to the crease as India struggled at 68/4 before Tendulkar showed him the way with a brilliant 155 off a mere 184 deliveries. Playing alongside his idol, Sehwag scored 105 runs and the two put on 220 runs for the fifth-wicket partnership.

Raina's ton too has come playing at the same position in the batting order. He joined Tendulkar after the fall of VVS Laxman's wicket with the scoreboard reading 241/4 and added 141 runs on day three.

Raina and Tendulkar put on a 256-run partnership before the southpaw was dismissed for 120.


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