NAGPUR: Sachin Tendulkar broke through a frustrating 10-month
period without a ceantury Thursday to set up India's 311-5 on the first day of
the fourth and final Test against Australia.
Tendulkar had not reached three figures since the final match against
Australia in Adelaide in January before bringing up his 40th Test century and 10th against the Australians, with 109 from 188 deliveries.
“After Adelaide, I have played around six or seven matches,” Tendulkar
said. “I know I am batting well, but I was not getting to the three-figure
landmark. But I don't think that is everything.
“Each ton is a different one and has its own importance. Today was a
little different, I tried to get it in a different style.”
Tendulkar struggled in the series against Sri Lanka earlier this year but
has been one of India's key batsmen against Australia, scoring 384 runs at
“As you have seen in this test series, I have gone in at crucial moments
almost four or five times and I have been able to play,” he said. “That is
very satisfying when you deliver when the team needs you the most, and that
is what I have been able to do in this series.”
Tendulkar came out to bat with India 99-2, and the situation worsened when
Virender Sehwag departed 17 runs later for 66.
The world's leading run-scorer didn't look troubled until he neared his
century and was dropped twice, on 85 and 96, at mid-off by Mitchell Johnson
and Brett Lee from the bowling of rookie offspinner Jason Krejza.
“I can say that he was a bit unlucky,” Tendulkar said of Krejza, who
took 3-138 off 28 overs.
Tendulkar, who is now four hundreds ahead of Australia captain Ricky
Ponting in second place, said he isn't driven by records.
“I am not playing for these targets,” Tendulkar said. “I am just
playing for the team and, while contributing towards the team's cause, if it
happens it is a great satisfaction.”
Tendulkar described the pitch at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium as a
“perfect track” that would suit the spinners over the rest of the match.
Australia is likely to have to bat last after India, which leads the series
1-0, won the toss.
“Batting first is definitely an advantage,” Tendulkar said. “But it is
important to bat well when you get that chance and build up a big score. The
momentum that builds up during the game happens when you bat first.”