There'll be no shortage of hype in Melbourne surrounding Sachin's 100th ton
SachinTendulkar's former Mumbai and India teammate, Sanjay Manjrekar reckoned that the batting maestro would have been better off playing the one-day series against the West Indies to "get rid of the monkey on his back," referring to his 100th international century.
"I actually felt very strongly that he should have played in those one-dayers that India played at home and get rid of the monkey on his back," Manjrekar was quoted by saying in the Sydney Morning Herald.
"He could have gone to Australia a lot more free and relaxed, but he's chosen not to do that. When the Indian fans come to Melbourne (venue of the opening Test against Australia) that whole event will again get hyped up and it just adds to the pressure, I feel, on Tendulkar.
"I would have liked him to go to Australia, because it's an important tour, without that extra baggage. All of us who have watched him here in India feel that it is a little bit of a burden for him."
Tendulkar has achieved three-figure innings on each of his four tours to Australia. In his first - in 1991-92 - he scored a hundred in Sydney and Perth. In 1999-2000, he thrilled the Boxing Day crowd at Melbourne with a splendid ton. A double hundred came in Sydney on the 2003-04 trip while on the last tour (2007-08) he was a centurion at Sydney and Adelaide.
Manjrekar said he expects a better batting performance from Team India than what was dished out on their last tour to England. Save Rahul Dravid's three hundreds in the four-Test series, none of the batters could get centuries. Tendulkar claimed close in the final Test at the Oval before he was dismissed for 91.
"Although I would say that the Australian bowling attack is nowhere close to what India faced in England, I expect a much-improved batting performance. But we are all a little cautious of not getting too carried away with our expectations for this Indian team.
From that standpoint I wouldn't say that India are the clear favourites but we feel that the challenge in Australia is nowhere close to what they faced in England," said Manjrekar.