The question in every cricket fans mind is likely to be: will Sachin score his 100th international ton, at Lords, where the first test match between England and India begins on July 21. Sachin has 51 test and 48 ODI hundreds to his credit which adds up to 99 international tons. In other words, the master blaster is one short of 100 tons. And what better stage to get to the mark, than at the Mecca of cricket?
For Sachin’s fans, there are many happy indications that he will live up to their expectations. Against England, in England, Tendulkar has played 13 matches and scored 1302 runs, with 4 centuries, for a batting average of 62.00, which is higher than his overall batting average of 56.94. His century conversion rate of 30.76 against England, in England, is also better than his overall conversion rate of 28.81.
However, Tendulkar has yet to score a test century at Lords. He scored his first test century in England in 1990, when he made 119 no, at Manchester. His next was 122 at Birmingham in 1996. His third ton came in the same series, at Nottingham, where he made 177. His fourth was a 193 made at Leeds, in 2002.
A positive sign is that every successive century has been bigger than the previous, and by that logic, Tendulkar is due for a double century, on his next triple-digit score, in England. Also, going by the law of averages, he is due for a big one, at Lords, the venue of the first test. His previous innings at Lords have been 10 and 27 in 1990, 31 in 1996, 16 and 12 in 2002, and 37 and 16, in 2007.
Curiously, another Indian batting legend from Mumbai, Sunil Gavaskar, never got a test ton at Lords, while playing for India. Tendulkar would want to compensate for that, too, and a double century might serve the dual purposes admirably.
If there is any negative indication, it is in the form of Sachin’s batting average in the first match of a series in England, which is just 33.00, in four matches played, in which he has scored 264 runs.
So what are the best conditions needed for Tendulkar to record a century at Lords on July 21? To begin with, Dhoni should win the toss and elect to bat. Two of Sachin’s four centuries in England have come in the first innings, one each in the third and fourth, but none in the second innings of a match.
India’s star batsman went without a test century on his last tour of England in 2007, when he had a top score of 91. Knowing him, Tendulkar will be itching to correct that deficiency, this time around.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.