Several Indian batting pairs have come and go but none has been more prolific that the sight of Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly pummeling the oppositions. Tendulkar and Ganguly remain the most successful ODI batting pair putting on over 6600 runs in partnerships opening the innings. With 21 centuries and 23 fifties, the pair of Tendulkar and Ganguly are sitting comfortably at the top.
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In ODIs, Tendulkar and Ganguly were no match, but even in Tests, the two have put on memorable partnerships batting together. Tallying a total of 4173 runs batting together in Tests, Sachin and Sourav have put on 12 century-plus stands, with a highest partnership of 281. Their second-highest partnership was worth 249 runs against England in a match at Headingley in 2002 – the famous Leeds Test which was the only instance of the Big 3 of Indian cricket – Dravid, Tendulkar and Ganguly – getting centuries in the same innings of a Test match.
Dravids 148, Tendulkar’s 193 and a knock of 128 from Ganguly saw India pile a mammoth 628/8 declared under overcast skies. The Tendulkar-Ganguly partnership in particular – where the two went after the bowling – was special as it took the skin off England and its bowling attack. Matthew Hoggard, Alex Tudor, Andrew Caddick… no one was spared as four England bowlers conceded over 100 runs.
“To be able to see that Indian batting duo of Tendulkar and Ganguly toy with the England bowling as if they were schoolboys, was fun to watch. When the declaration was being thought of, Sachin and Sourav were batting as if it was a one-day game,” former India captain Sunil Gavaskar said on the docu-series ‘Architects in White’ streaming on SONY LIV.
It was a remarkable exhibition of world-class batting. To score 600 on a Leeds wicket batting on an overcast first day would have been unthinkable but Team India achieved it. The batting was backed splendidly by India’s bowlers as the spin duo of Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh picked up three wickets each in the first innings, helping India to a massive lead. In the second innings, Kumble scalped four more to finish with a match tally of 7 wickets as India defeated England by an innings and 46 runs to level the series 1-1.
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