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March 26, 2010
Daniel Vettori is keen to put his 100th Test celebrations behind him early on Saturday and switch his focus to beating Australia. Vettori will become the second New Zealander to reach the milestone after Stephen Fleming - he will do it at his home ground in Hamilton - but finishing the home summer on a high is the captain's No. 1 priority.
"It's exciting but it's almost got to the stage where I just want to get it out of the way," Vettori said. "It's a big Test for us, the last Test of the summer, and fortunately it's my 100th and it's in front of family and friends. But the bigger issue is about us trying to win and it's going to take a monumental effort from where we were at the Basin to turn it around here."
Even so, Vettori will take some time to savour the achievement, which is being brought up at the venue where he made his first-class debut 14 years ago as a 17-year-old. Vettori's parents will be at the ground on Saturday and his brother-in-law has set up a Facebook page to mark the 100th Test.
"We actually played together before I met his sister so he obviously didn't hold it against me," Vettori said. "Those sorts of people have been a huge support in my life and I'm pleased that I can play it in Hamilton and a lot of friends and family can make an easy trip to the ground."
Few teams around the world are more reliant on one player than New Zealand are on Vettori and his opposing captain Ricky Ponting paid tribute to the man who will become the 50th to appear in 100 Tests. Ponting first faced Vettori in the 1997-98 Test series in Australia and was impressed at how Vettori had developed into an allrounder.
"He's always been a very good bowler and a very good competitor," Ponting said. "The last couple of years he's really brought his batting on and become a high-class allrounder at international level. For someone to play 100 Test matches I think is a great feat.
"I know when I brought up that milestone it was one of the things I was most proud of in my career, to have the longevity and stay in the game that long. Once he finishes he'll be one of the great servants of New Zealand cricket for sure."
Plays of the day from the CLT20 match between Dolphins and Lahore Lions in Bangalore
The Plays of the day from the CLT20 match between Kings XI Punjab and Northern Knights, in Mohali