Ganguly to complete century of Tests on Boxing Day

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Melbourne, Dec 25 (UNI) Former Indian skipper Saurav Ganguly will have an added motivation to leave a mark during the Boxing Day Test which starts tomorrow at the MCG - it will be his 100th Test in Indian colours.

However, the 'Prince of Kolkata' seemed unpeturbed by the milestone and insisted that he would not be under any extra pressure to perform.

''It's just another Test match,'' he said.

If there was any emotion at all it would be one of satisfaction - especially as the achievement will sit beside 311 one-day internationals.

The 35-year-old southpaw is in haloed company and will join an elite club of six Indian players who have represented the country in 100 or more Tests after Dilip Vengsarker, Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar, Anil Kumble and Rahul Dravid.

Ganguly's relationship with Australian cricket has always been fraught with tension and drama. He had a famous fall out with Aussie legend Steve Waugh, with whom he had an acrimonious relationship when they were rival captains.

Waugh has said that he respected Ganguly, even if he didn't necessarily like him. Ganguly claims they are friends.

''Whatever has happened, it's an effort to win Test matches,'' he said. ''He is probably one of my role models and he is a champion player. He didn't want to lose wherever they went.

''He is a legend of Australian cricket. He lifted Australian cricket.'' Ganguly, who has an average of 32.46 against Australia, is unfazed by the prospect of the on-field aggression that he is likely to face during this series.

''It happens all around the world, there's something going on the ground all the time, which is not always in a bad sense,'' he said.

''It's tough competition in the middle and you've just got to live with it. You have to focus on the game and I'm a firm believer that it's what you do with the bat or ball that matters.'' 'Dada' is in good nick these days. He shone with the bat during the recently concluded Test series against Pakistan, scoring a double century in Bangalore. During the tour match against Victoria, he made a creditable 59, putting up a 83 run partnership with Rahul Dravid.

Unlike last time, Ganguly will not be captaining India in this tour and will not be distracted by the burdens and responsibilities of leadership which according to him makes a big difference.

UNI

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