With just a couple of days to go for the start of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Nagpur, the stage is set for players from both camps to make an impression as they get ready for the big series. India’s star duo of Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli will be looking for the same as they near a special club while Team India hunts for a place in the World Test Championship (WTC) final.
What is the special club?
The Indian duo of Pujara and Kohli will look to compete for 2000 runs in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy and join a special club of players that includes Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid from India. As things stand, with four matches and a potential eight innings in the series, both will most probably reach the milestone if there are no injury concerns or lack of playing time.
Where does the duo reside?
35-year-old Pujara is currently leading the chart for active Indian players having scored 1893 runs in 37 innings (20 matches) of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. He currently needs 107 runs and could well achieve that in Nagpur if everything goes right for him in the first Test. The Saurashtra batter has scored five hundreds and 10 fifties against the Aussies in the longer format and will look to do the same when he takes guard at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium on Thursday (February 9).
Most Runs in Border-Gavaskar Trophy
- Sachin Tendulkar – 3262 runs in 65 innings (34 matches)
- Ricky Ponting – 2555 runs in 51 innings (29 matches)
- VVS Laxman – 2434 runs in 54 innings (29 matches)
- Rahul Dravid – 2143 runs in 60 innings (32 matches)
- Michael Clarke – 2049 runs in 40 innings (22 matches)
- Cheteshwar Pujara – 1893 runs in 37 innings (20 matches)
- Virat Kohli – 1682 runs in 36 innings (20 matches)
On the flip side, Virat will probably have to wait until he enters his hometown of Delhi or Dharamshala to reach the 2000-run club as he needs 318 runs. Currently, the former India skipper resides on 1682 runs in 36 innings (20 matches) and will eye the milestone. The figure looks improbable to be achieved in Nagpur until Virat produces another special ton. He has also scored seven hundreds and five fifties against the team from Down Under and will hope to continue his rich form in 2023.
ALSO READ | Aaron Finch announces retirement from international cricket; expected to play BBL and T20 leagues
WTC race going down the wire
Australia will play a four-match Test series against India which kick starts on 9 February at the VCA Stadium in Nagpur. The series will have bearings on the World Test Championship (WTC) where both India and Australia are in pole positions to make the final in June while South Africa and Sri Lanka are also in contention with an outside chance if India fail to make the most of the opportunity.