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Tag Of Batsman Who Can't Crack Ton Still Rankles Gambhir

PTI 20 Jan 2010, 19:55:54 IST

Two-years in wilderness early in his career and the four-year wait for his second Test century still rankles Indian opener Gautam Gambhir who on Wednesday  said that whenever he go out to bat his mind was occupied by the thought of converting fifties into hundreds.

Gambhir, who on Wednesday became only the fourth batsman to have scored five tons in five consecutive Tests, still remembers what his opening partner Virender Sehwag said that without converting the fifties into hundreds no player can become a good cricketer.

"I remember Viru once told me that I have to convert the fifties into hundreds if I want to be a good player. In Sri Lanka (in 2008) I scored three fifties and people said I can score only half centuries and not hundreds and I was thinking when my second century would come," Gambhir, who scored 116 in India's second innings 413 for eight declared, said after the end of fourth day's play.

Gambhir scored his first century -- against Bangladesh in Chittagong in December 2004 at a venue different from Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Cricket Stadium where the first Test is being played -- and he had to wait for nearly four years including the two years in wilderness -- for his second century to come.

"I think my second century in Mohali (in October 2008 against Australia) was the turning point. Whenever I go out to bat I always thought that I have to convert the fifties into hundreds. That gives me the satisfaction," he said.

The 28-year-old left hander, who may equal Don Bradman's six centuries in as many Tests in the second match against Bangladesh starting in Dhaka from January 24, said he did not set targets but want to score as many runs as possible.

"I don't set targets and records. If I set targets and if don't get them it will put pressure on me. I am fortunate enough to play for the country and I want to score as many runs for the country and give a good start. You don't know the future and I want to make the most of good form I am in. "Whenever I go out to play I want to think that I am playing my last game for the country and score as many runs as possible," Gambhir said when asked about equalling Bradman's record.

"Bangladesh is a lucky country for me. I enjoy playing here and I like the wickets here," added Gambhir who made his ODI debut in Dhaka.

 Asked what motivates him to play cricket, Gambhir said, "The tri-colour motivates me, the 100 million people motivates me and so there is no lack of motivation to play for the country."

"I have never been lacking in motivation. I don't want to look behind but when I was dropped I went back to Ranji Trophy and scored runs heavily. I had always thought if I can score runs in Ranji Trophy why cannot do that in the international arena." PTI