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Double delight for Dravid

By Mohandas Menon

** The double hundred (222) was Rahul Dravid's third and his career best eclipsing the 217 against England at Oval in September last year. Among Indian batsmen only Sunil Gavaskar (4) has more 200-plus scores in Tests. Dravid, meanwhile, became the 15th batsman in Test history to register three or more double hundreds.

** The 182-run partnership between Dravid and Sourav Ganguly was India's best for the fifth wicket against New Zealand bettering the previous best of 127 runs between Vijay Manjrekar and G.S. Ramchand in Delhi in December 1955. It was also the best at this ground surpassing the previous best of 118 runs between Sachin Tendulkar and V.V.S. Laxman against England n December 2001.

** Ganguly's unbeaten 100 was his 10th Test century (in 68 Tests) and his third against New Zealand (in 8 Tests). It was also his third as a captain in 33 matches. At 73, Ganguly reached the 10, 000 mark in first-class cricket. He now has 10,027 runs (avg. 43.59) in 168 matches, with 18 hundreds.

** Ganguly now joins two other Indian captains to record a hundred while batting at number six. Pataudi Jr. (three hundreds) and Mohammad Azharuddin (two hundreds) are the others to do so.

Day one

** Akash Chopra and L. Balaji became the 245th and 246th player to represent India in a Test match. Chopra is the 27th Delhi player to appear in Tests (last one being Sarandeep Singh), while Balaji is the 22nd Tamil Nadu player (previous one Hemang Badani).

** The opening pair of Akash Chopra and Virender Sehwag from Delhi provided the first instance since February 1983 when two players from the same State opened for India in a Test match. The last occasion was when Mumbai's Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri opened against Pakistan at Karachi in 1982-83. For the record, Sehwag and Chopra have never opened the batting together for Delhi.

** Local boy Parthiv Patel, who is playing his 29th first-class match, is appearing for the first time at this venue. However, Patel is yet to play for Gujarat in the Ranji Trophy and has appeared in just six first-class matches on Indian venues.

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