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Sachin won't feature on Lord's honour board

Last updated on: July 26, 2011 14:58 IST

Sachin won't feature on Lord's honour board

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Bikash Mohapatra
A hundred at Lord's must now remain an unfinished dream for the Indian legend, says Bikash Mohapatra.

For all his records and achievements, the Master Blaster had not been part of a World Cup-winning squad, despite having played in as many as five editions (before 2011) of cricket's flagship event.

Every athlete has some regret or the other in her/his career and this would be Sachin Tendulkar's, many felt: He was not destined to be part of a World Cup-winning squad.

On April 2 this year, that changed.

India's six-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the World Cup final at the Wankhede Stadium ensured that Tendulkar finally had a World Cup winner's medal. He also finished the tournament as the second-highest run scorer.


Image: Sachin Tendulkar celebrates with teammates after winning the World Cup
Photographs: Getty Images
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Sachin's next target: The 100th ton

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While the World Cup win filled a void in the legend's career, it also posed a question: Is there anything that Sachin hasn't achieved?

The 38-year-old batsman holds almost every record in international cricket, across formats, and has, by building on his records, ensured that it will take considerable time before someone (if at all) eclipses any of them.

His next target: A 100th international ton.


Image: Sachin Tendulkar

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Alas, no century at Lord's

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While he will no doubt score that 100th hundred soon, what will remain missing on Sachin Tendulkar's illustrious resume is a Test hundred at the home of cricket, Lord's.

Sachin has never registered a decent score at Lord's -- the 37 scored in the 2007 series is his highest Test score at the ground.

The opening Test of this series -- the 2,000th Test in history; the 100th England-India Test -- seemed the ideal stage to set the record straight.

Alas!


Image: A standing ovation greeted Sachin Tendulkar at Lord's

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Tremlett had Tendulkar in a tangle

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Tendulkar, who skipped India's tour of the West Indies, had traveled to his home near Lord's in advance to begin his preparations for the English tour.

Sachin made a positive start in the first innings at Lord's, but went into an inexplicable shell, with the 6' 7" Chris Tremlett -- who former English skipper Nasser Hussain had predicted would be a handful for the 5' 5" Sachin -- having him in all sorts of trouble.

But it was Stuart Broad, who replaced Tremlett in the attack, who got Sachin. Tendulkar had made 34, three less than his all-time highest at Lord's.


Image: Stuart Broad celebrates after bagging Sachin in the first innings

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Tendulkar seemed ill at ease

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A viral infection kept Sachin off the field for most of England's second innings. That meant he could come in to bat only at No 5 in the Indian second innings.

When Tendulkar appeared, close to the end of the first session on the final day, two things were certain: First, India would not win the Test; second, Sachin would not score a century.

Throughout his stay at the wicket, he seemed ill at ease.


Image: Stuart Broad and Sachin Tendulkar on Day 5

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Twice, Tendulkar was fortunate, but...

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On 11, Tendulkar survived a huge leg before shout from Stuart Broad. The bowler was convinced. Umpire Billy Bowden was unmoved.

The television replays suggested Bowden had got it wrong.

A few overs later, Andrew Strauss put down Tendulkar at first slip (off James Anderson), dropping a regulation catch.

Two balls later, Anderson had the out of sorts Tendulkar leg before. It was the end of an ordeal at the crease.


Image: Stuart Broad appeals unsuccesfully for Sachin Tendulkar's wicket

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A 100 at Lord's remains a lost dream

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Sachin may not play another Test at Lord's -- India's next tour of England will be in 2014, when he is 41 -- so we must assume that he will have an aggregate of 195 runs in five Tests for the ground.

Every batsman who scores a century at Lord's features on the honours board in the pavilion. Sachin Tendulkar's name will be missing.

He will be not the only recent legend to be absent from the honour roll -- also missing are Muthaiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne; neither spinner has taken the five wickets or more in an innings at Lord's to feature on the honour board there.


Image: Sachin Tendulkar walks off, possibly for the last time in a Test at Lord's

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The Master bids farewell to Lord's

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Even though he failed in both innings, spectators at the Lord's Test saluted Sachin Tendulkar for being the greatest cricketer of his era.

In both innings, the posh MCC members rose to a man and applauded Sachin's walk to the wicket as they did his disappointed amble back to the dressing room.

They knew the likes of Sachin Tendulkar will not be seen at Lord's again.


Image: Despite his failures in the Test, the Lord's crowd saluted Sachin with standing ovations

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