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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sachin, score your 100th ton in Chennai: Srikkanth

Chennai: Chairman of selectors Krishnamachari Srikkanth has urged Sachin Tendulkar to score his 100th hundred here.

The M A Chidambaram Stadium which hosts Sunday's India vs West Indies game is one of Tendulkar’s happy hunting grounds. In a career spanning 22 international seasons, some of his most memorable Test knocks were played here.

However, Tendulkar has played just five one-dayer’s here, and is eyeing his maiden century. "This is one of his favourite venues, he always gets a lot of runs here. It would be a memorable moment if he can create history here and score his 100th century. My best wishes, as always, are with him. It'll be the ideal ground to get such a milestone, the city will party for days," Srikkanth, Tendulkar's first India captain, said. "There's something about Sachin and Chepauk. He always seems to play well here. This ground has gone through a lot of renovation, and I am sure he would enjoy entertaining the crowd here. It's easily one of the prettiest venues in the world. The ventilation is excellent and players won't feel exhausted or dehydrated like they used to before. Earlier, it used to get very hot here because of the concrete. But the renovation work has made life simpler for both spectators and players," he added.

Meanwhile, Srikkanth got nostalgic while recalling India's one-run defeat to Australia in the team's opening match of the 1987 World Cup here. Chasing 271, India collapsed from 207-2 to 269 all out. Navjot Singh Sidhu (73) and Srikkanth (70) took the hosts to a position of dominance until quick bowler Craig McDermott wreaked havoc. "It was the victory that gave Australia confidence to go further in the competition. We were clearly the favourites and should have won it hands down. Even though Australia scored 270, we were off to a blazing start. Sidhu and I dominated their bowlers, but we collapsed," said Srikkanth.

"The Aussies had no chance of beating us those days, but somehow they clawed their way back. There is some connection between Chennai and Australia, they always do well here. Dating back to the tied Test in 1986, they have had a love affair with Chennai. It was a great game, a cult classic, and it was after this win, that Allan Border and Co believed they were good enough. And the final result was there for all to see ” they went on to win the World Cup," signed off Srikkanth.

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