Calcutta, Nov. 2: It wasn’t much more than an aberration, but Sachin Tendulkar’s inability to get a Test hundred at the Eden still hurt.
Almost 10 years after his first appearance here, against England, Sachin corrected that. At stumps on a stunning Day-IV of the final Test, today, Sachin was unbeaten on 114, his 31st hundred. “The Eden is the home of cricket in India and, so, I’m very happy. Unlike the previous five Tests, I won’t be ending this with a sense of (personal) disappointment,” Sachin remarked, a shade emotionally.
However, he picked that incredible last over in the Hero Cup semi-final versus South Africa as his top feat here.
“I intend playing exactly the way I do elsewhere… If the hundred comes along, fine,” is how Sachin had summed up his thoughts on Monday, moments after arriving in the city.
Well, so superbly crafted has been hundred No. 31, that the wait has been worth it.
Sachin’s latest, of course, couldn’t have been better timed. In arrears by 139, India were two for 11 when Sachin took guard. Over the next 264 minutes, the maestro uncorked brilliance, enabling India to reach 195 for four against the West Indies.
Only, typically, he insisted the “job has been half done”.
Later, speaking to The Telegraph, Sachin dedicated his fourth hundred of the year to elder brother (and mentor) Ajit.
“This one is for him… For the suggestions during the many hours of nets (in Mumbai) between the Test in Chennai and the ongoing one. Indeed, my brother worked as hard as I did.”
But, despite a record 64 hundreds (Tests and ODIs), is he still struck by that butterflies-in-the-stomach sensation when in the 90s'
Sachin laughed: “You get used to it… A bit of nervousness, though, is always there on the eve of a match. In a way, that’s good.”
He knows best.