End of Day 3 at Wankhede Stadium of Mumbai, Tendulkar was unbeaten on 67 runs, needing only 33 more runs to score century of international centuries. But, the ease with every batsmen scored runs at Wankhede makes one ponder, if the pitch was prepared keeping Tendulkar’s 100th ton as primary objective, despite knowing that a better pitch would have helped India secure series sweep!! Now, can Tendulkar afford to refuse the century of centuries served to him on platter at his home ground of home town!!
Note: Sachin reached 90s and got out, although he could have scored another century on the batting track, after getting India close to avoiding follow-on. Probably says a lot about his respect to the pitch.
Tendulkar is the best batsman in the world. He is also one of the most humble sports person the World has ever seen. He has scored 99 centuries and a record number of runs over a period of 20 years, facing deadliest of conditions and opponents. Yet, his 100th international ton has eluded him for almost a year now. With 51 test centuries and 48 ODI centuries, one more is the call from every corner of the cricket world.
Everyone knows that the extraordinarily talented Sachin can reach the figure anytime, as he is still fit to play for another 2 years – minimum. By his self confession, he was not playing with that most-talked about century in the Cricket history. The confident Little Master knows here or there, somewhere he will get that century, and probably more than one.
Coming to the Wankhede test, the last of the West Indies test series in India, the scoreline read 2-0 in favor of home team. India needed just one more win to score 3rd series sweep in Indian history. Dhoni and Co did not demand a spin-friendly or bowler friendly pitch. They desired just a test-friendly pitch, which Delhi and Kolkata provided without much problem. The home team did not demand a pitch supporting their case. The confident team just wanted a result-oriented wicket.
But, the Wankhede curator has other preferences. The curator has worked hard to prepare a pitch that may not be result-oriented even after 10 days of continuous play. The ease with which West Indies batsmen and now the Indian batsmen scored runs, even on third day, and managed to save their wicket without much problem, emphasized that ANY Batsman who could avoid risk-taking may survive and score good runs.
West Indies batsmen did the same and became the 5th team to have scored 6 50-plus scores in an innings. Indian team has already scored 3 half-centuries, few more could be in offing in the next two days.
Any result in the test is unexpected unless one of the teams goes for a suicidal approach to batting. So, whom did the curator serve?
Probably, the Tendulkar record overtook all other emotions. Blinded with the contribution he can make in helping the God of Cricket reach the biggest milestone in Cricket history, he prepared a completely batting track.
If Tendulkar fails to score remaining 33 runs, it will be one of the biggest surprise. But, will he be happy scoring a century when all efforts have been made by external factors to help him reach the milestone!!
Obviously, no. With his high stature such kind of favour will never be his takings. But, he cannot even throw his wicket to refuse the century served on platters – for which probably he will need to curator the most. With his team still needing a plenty of runs to avoid follow-on and cross the West Indies total, he must bat on.
Unfortunately, India have lost the easiest of chance to make a series sweep. And unfortunately, for the first time we may not see the smile full of satisfaction on Sachin’s face if he scores century of centuries tomorrow.
Dear Curator, you have done a big injustice not only to India, Cricket World but also to your own favorite and home favorite (Wankhede being the home ground for Mumba-born Tendulkar) Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.
You have already cheated India by denying the opportunity to win the match. Now, it is the turn of Tendulkar to feel cheated by his very own home fans. Hopefully he will not throw his wicket before century to escape the shame which this century at Wankhede will bring on him. Like always, India needs him and he should save Indian pride by taking team total beyond WI total, although his big fans have ditched India.