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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sachin still works on his technique and where he feels an extra bit of effort, he does that:Dhoni.

Chennai, March 19 (AFP): Sachin Tendulkar can complete another landmark on Sunday by hitting his 100th international hundred as India tackle West Indies in the World Cup's final group match.

India, as well as England, are already through to the quarter-finals along with South Africa after the Proteas' crushing 206 run-win over Bangladesh in Dhaka on Saturday.

It will now take a colossal India win for the West Indies to be denied a place in the last eight although Sunday's result will still have a bearing on the group standings and the teams' quarter-final opponents.

Meanwhile many fans in a 38,000 capacity Chidambaram Stadium crowd will be eager to see Tendulkar score his 100th international hundred.

The India star moved to 99 centuries (51 in Tests and 48 in one-day internationals) with a majestic innings of 111 in his side's previous group match against South Africa.

"He keeps it really simple," said India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. "He doesn't look at the milestones that are coming up for him.

"Playing for 20, 21 years, the kind of form he has been in throughout his career, he knows every game there is some kind of milestone around the corner. He keeps it really simple, practises well."

"He still works on his technique and where he feels an extra bit of effort, he does that. What really helps him is how he analyses the wicket and accordingly plans his innings."

"It has been really good to have him in the side, the amount of experience he has got. He always assists you as a senior player. If you are short of ideas, you can always walk up to him and he'll give you two or three."

West Indies captain Darren Sammy added: "Sachin, nobody can question what he's done in the game."

"He's a great player and we respect him. But we will have our plans against him and hopefully we execute them properly."

However, even a 'Sachin special' last week was not enough to prevent a three-wicket defeat by South Africa where India, on a belting batting pitch in Nagpur, contrived to lose their last nine wickets for just 29 runs as they slumped from 267 for one to 296 all out.

Runs are set to be harder to come by in Chennai, where no batsman managed a fifty on a typically bowler-friendly pitch during England's nailbiting 18-run win over the West Indies on Thursday.

India will do well not to under-estimate a youthful Windies attack that troubled England.

Leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo took three wickets on his one-day international debut while lively seamer Andre Russell almost produced a match-winning all-round performance with four wickets and a dashing 49.

Had the West Indies, who lost their last four wickets for just three runs on Thursday, they would now be in the quarter-finals.

It is nearly two years since the West Indies beat a major nation in a one-day international with an eight-wicket win against India in Kingston in June 2009 and they would love to end that sequence on Sunday.

"We are coming closer," Sammy said. "In order to win, you must create an opportunity to win and we are doing that so the chances are that soon we will grab an opportunity."

Meanwhile Dhoni said India could play two spinners on a pitch that, despite being protected against the sun by a tent on Saturday, is still expected to take turn.

That could mean a tournament debut for off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on his home ground alongside Dhoni favourite Piyush Chawla.

India opener Virender Sehwag and West Indies counterpart Chris Gayle are injury doubts and, following Bangladesh's defeat, both batsmen may now be rested ahead of the quarter-finals.

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