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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Will Sachin Tendulkar hit his 100th ton in Chennai?


Sachin Tendulkar doesn't want to keep it hanging. He has achieved it all, but the century of centuries is a peak that will make him the greatest ever.

The Little Master knows all about it and doesn't want people around him to discuss it. The way he is going about things suggests that he wants to finish off unfinished business as soon as possible.

On Saturday, the eve of India's last World Cupleague encounter against the West Indies, Tendulkar didn't go into the practice nets. As the entire team went behind the ground to the nets, Tendulkar with S. Sreesanth, Zaheer Khan and Munaf Patel in tow, practised just beside the centre wicket of the MA Chidambaram Stadium.

It was a clear indication that the Master wants to get a feel of the atmosphere in the middle, where has played many a memorable innings.

He tried every shot in the book and it did feel like watching the stage rehearsal of a play that will unfold on Sunday.

The team management knows that it's not personal milestones that drive the Little Master.

Skipper MS Dhoni stressed on that as he talked about Sachin and the build-up around his 100th century. "He has been playing for 21 years and he never looks at personal milestones.

"The kind of form he is in, he knows there's a milestone round the corner in every game," Dhoni said.

Dhoni is absolutely right on this count. Over the last two years, Tendulkar has broken every record that could be broken and it just doesn't stop there.

He completed his 50th Test century in South Africa when the chips were down and followed it up with a couple in the World Cup that has brought him perilously close to this unbelievable milestone.

According to Indian skipper, what sets Tendulkar apart is his ability to read the situation and the nature of the wicket.

Even for Chepauk, where the pitch is dry and the ball is stopping on the batsmen, Tendulkar has specific preparations.

"He still works on his technique where he feels that an extra bit of effort is needed.

"What really helps him is that he assesses the wicket and accordingly plans his strategy," Dhoni said, giving a general idea on how the Master gets ready for the job at hand.

Amidst all these though, Tendulkar never forgets the "team goal." Even after scoring a century in the hot and humid conditions in India, the little man is always ready to come out and field, helping the skipper with his inputs.

"He always assists me with plenty of ideas ... When things go wrong, I walk up to him and he will invariably float two or three ideas and ask me to choose the best one," Dhoni said, making it clear why the team celebrates every Tendulkar record as if it belongs to them.

The whole of India would love to see Team India doing the same on Sunday.

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