Can Sachin Tendulkar end Mohali century drought?
When Sachin Tendulkar walks into bat at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in the Mohali Test that starts today, the fans would be hoping the batting maestro scores a Test hundred here, something which has eluded him for more than a decade
Back in 1999...
In 1999, Tendulkar scored an unbeaten 126 in the second innings and helped India draw the Test against New Zealand after being bowled out for 83 in the first innings. After that, the batting legend has missed a century at this venue on five occasions, including three in the last five Tests.
In December 2001, Tendulkar was dismissed for 88, getting a fine edge off England’s Matthew Hoggard. In 2003, Tendulkar could not convert his 55 into a big score against New Zealand. The legendary batsman was close to creating history when he fell six runs short of a record-breaking 35th Test ton against Pakistan in 2005. In 2008, Tendulkar became current Australian pace ace Peter Siddle’s first Test victim, getting an outside off when batting on 88.
However, in the same match Tendulkar finally surpassed Brian Lara’s (11,953 runs) to become the leading scorer in Test cricket.
In his last Test at the venue — against Australia in 2010 — Tendulkar came very close to a three-figure score, but left-arm spinner Marcus North spoilt his party by trapping him leg before wicket for 98.
Tendulkar, who has scored 709 at an average of 50.64 in 10 Tests at Mohali, is just 27 runs short of going past Rahul Dravid (735) to become the leading run-getter at the venue. Interestingly, Tendulkar has just hit one six at this venue.
In the seven ODIs at Mohali, Tendulkar has four 50-plus scores to his name. He came agonisingly close to score a century in November 2007 against Pakistan. Trying to put away an Umar Gul delivery to the third man region, Tendulkar opened the face of the bat only to see wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal taking a fine catch.
Out on 99
The Mohali crowd was stunned when the master batsman fell on 99. It was the fifth time he was dismissed in the nervous 90s that year.
Tendulkar’s last ODI at the venue was the 2011 World Cup semi-final against Pakistan where he was dropped four times during his innings of 85.