How Sachin Tendulkar achieved the historic feat
The 100 that had been one year in waiting finally came about as Sachin Tendulkar completed his century of tons but showed minimal emotion after reaching a milestone that is unlikely to be emulated in the near or distant future.
After 33 innings and over a year, Tendulkar finally got to the elusive ton against Bangladesh in an Asia Cup league match at a packed Sher-e-Bangla stadium in Mirpur.
It took him 138 deliveries, one of the most arduos one-day efforts by the 38-year-old right-hander, to get to the 100 that had become as much a talking point as the team's fortunes in the past 365 days.
The bowler against whom it came about was Shakib Al Hasan and the moment was the fourth delievry of the 43rd over of Indian innings.
Tendulkar clipped it down to square leg and jogged the single, gave a long hard stare to his bat after taking off his helmet before looking heavenward in his signature style. What was missing was emotion.
It's Tendulkar's maiden century against Bangladesh
The diminutive batsman, the most successful batsman in international cricket right now, kept it subdued. He shook hands with Suresh Raina, his partner at the other end, and raised his bat to acknowledge the cheering fans with a straight face giving little insight into what was going on his mind amid the drama.
But the teammates in the dressing room were as expressive as they could be as they all got up from their seats to applaud the veteran as he added another feather to an already overcrowded cap.
However, reaching the milestone was no easy task for the player who often makes batting look effortless.
After getting what several former cricketers called a monkey off his back, Tendulkar was dismissed by Mashrafe Mortaza off the second last delivery of the 47th over. The 114-run knock was incidentally Tendulkar's maiden century against Bangladesh.
Upon his dismissal, the Bangladeshi players expectedly gave him a round of applause as he walked back to pavilion with fans cheering him on. His Indian teammates and coach Duncan Fletcher received him at the boundary lauding the iconic player.
But what would be remembered is the wait that Tendulkar endured to get to the milestone.
The elusive ton came in familiar environs
It all began with the 99th ton that he got against South Africa in a World Cup match on March 12 last year.
For a man, who is considered nothing less than god of cricket in India, getting to 100th was considered nothing more than a stroll in the park.
He decided to skip the tour of West Indies that followed and the subsequent trip to England proved a disaster not just for him but for the entire team as it failed to notch a single win in any format of the game.
He got close to scoring the hundred a few times in the home Test series against the West Indies but missed out.
The action shifted to Australia after that and though he seemed to be in good form, the Aussies kept their promise of not letting him the reach the milestone against them at least.
He was eventually selected for the ODI tri-series, his first one-day assignment after the World Cup, but once again the hundred eluded him.
Tendulkar then made himself available for the Asia Cup and as destiny would have it, the elusive ton came in the familiar sub-continental environs.