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Waiting for century of centuries at Mecca of cricket
Alexander Penny

Close to creating History

Sachin Tendulkar is yet to score a century at Lordís. With 99 centuries in international cricket to his credit, his fans will wait with bated breath as he takes the field in the first Test against England beginning on Thursday.

London, July 19
At 38, the Little Master has enjoyed several trips to England and commanded authority since he stepped up to the crease for the first time at Lordís in July 1990.

He is the highest run scorer in Test matches (14,692) and has the most international centuries (99). Seven of these centuries have come on English territory, on six different grounds, and with India visiting three of these on their latest tour, that century of centuries is looking ever closer.

Averaging 62 from 13 Tests and 43.79 from 26 one-day games in England, he has been a constant thorn for England.

His debut tour at the tender age of 17 brought around his maiden Test hundred; a disciplined unbeaten innings of 119 that displayed immense maturity beyond his years. Despite ultimately losing the series, Tendulkar had made the breakthrough and followed this up with a further two centuries in the 1996 Test series - including a breathtaking 177 at Trent Bridge in another anchor-like innings that he has become famed for.

Having failed to win any of their last nine Test matches in England, India were led to a resounding victory by Tendulkar on his return to Headingley. It was ironic that his previous exploits wearing the White Rose brought around one of his finest innings on these shores - a flawless score of 193 that set the foundation for victory, a knock that took him past Sir Don Bradmanís total of 30 Test centuries.

His first 17 innings yielded just two scores above 49, but four fifties in the 2007 Natwest series exposed the tenacity and bullish approach taken by the Little Master. Yorkshire are one of few clubs that have enjoyed his formidable blend of exquisite timing, judgment, improvisation and an eye that the Australians likened to that of a dead fish. Joining in 1992 as the first overseas player to represent the county, the fresh-faced 19-year-old ushered in a new and prominent era for the side - scoring 1,070 runs at an average of 46.52 in a stint that he hailed as ďone of the greatest four-and-a-half months Iíve spent in my life.Ē

However, his name remains absent from the honours board at Lordís, with a high score of 37 coming from four Tests - a ton at the home of cricket would be a fitting finale. ó The Independent





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