Lord’s awaits Tendulkar’s signature

July 20th, 2011 - 9:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Sachin Tendulkar London, July 20 (IANS) Sachin Tendulkar likes to leave his imprints on history. The magnitude of the occasion gets the best out of him. And the moment will not be lost on Tendulkar when he comes out to bat against England at Lord’s in the 2000th Test match and 100th between the two teams.

Many expect Tendulkar to grace the moment by reaching his individual milestone 100 international centuries which has been due for sometime now.

The master blaster has rediscovered the carefree exuberance of his youth in the last one year in all formats. In 15 Tests, he slammed eight centuries, including two double hundreds.

In April, he lived his childhood dream of winning the World Cup and that, too, at home in Mumbai. His family - wife Anjali, daughter Sara and son Arjun - was there to share the lifetime moment with Tendulkar.

Tendulkar cracked his first century, a match-saving 119 against Graham Gooch’s England at Old Trafford August 14, 1990. However, in two decades, the honour boards of Lord’s are still awating the signature of the master. His best at the cricket’s mecca is just 37 in four previous Tests.

At 38, Tendulkar would be getting his last chance to fill in the gap.

“I’m sure Sachin would love to score a hundred here,” said England captain Andrew Strauss.

“He’s been a fantastic ambassador for the game. You look at his statistics and they speak for themselves - you don’t have to rush out with platitudes or superlatives because it’s all there.”

“The longevity, consistency shows he’s one of the greatest ever.”

“As a man and an ambassador, there’s no one better,” says Strauss.

Tendulkar has managed a mere 149 runs in seven Test innings at Lord’s at an average of just 21.28.

Asked if the interest surrounding Tendulkar’s potential 100th hundred was proving a distraction, Strauss replied: “It won’t be a distraction for us.”

“We have plans in place for him as we would for any other batsman. If it’s a distraction, then it’s a great thing for us.”

Dhoni hailed Tendulkar as the ideal role model for the youngsters.

“He loves the game, he has a passion for the game and every time he turns up on the field he wants to improve. It keeps him going,” said the India skipper.

“He may spend one-and-a-half hours on the field but he makes sure he is learning something during that time.”

“And when he goes back to the dressing room, he can proudly say: ‘today’s time I utilised to the best’.”

“He keeps things very simple and doesn’t complicate things. Overall, I think he is the ideal cricketer to look up to (for) how he has conducted himself on and off the field,” Dhoni said.

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