Top Spin at the Test: The wait goes on as Tendulkar's ton proves elusive
22:56 GMT, 5 December 2012
22:56 GMT, 5 December 2012
Sachin Tendulkar’s highest Test innings since he made 80 at Sydney in January could not disguise the fact that his last 29 visits to the crease have failed to produce a Test hundred. That is comfortably the longest century-less drought of his career, stretching all the way back to his 146 in Cape Town in January 2011. The sense of disappointment yesterday at Eden Gardens when he edged Jimmy Anderson to Matt Prior was almost tangible.
Disappointment: Sachin Tendulkar missed out on a century
Sachin eclipses sunny record
For all his frustration, Tendulkar did tick off yet another milestone. When he clipped Monty Panesar for a single shortly after lunch, he completed 34,000 runs in all international cricket. He won’t be caught any time soon: next in the list is former Australia captain Ricky Ponting, who retired on Monday with 27,483 runs to his name. Tendulkar also became India’s leading Test run-scorer against England, passing Sunil Gavaskar, who hit 2,483.
Bogie man: Hansie Cronje took Tendulkar's wicket five times in his career
Cronje chips in on Tendulkar's list
The eight bowlers to have dismissed Tendulkar five times or more in Tests include some of the modern fast-bowling greats: Anderson (eight times), Glenn McGrath (six), Jason Gillespie, Brett Lee and Allan Donald (all five). But one name stands out on the list: the late South Africa captain Hansie Cronje also took Tendulkar’s wicket in Tests on five occasions with his gentle medium-pace — a stat made all the more remarkable by the fact that Cronje managed only 43 wickets in his 68 Tests.
Sharp Samit proves his point
Samit Patel has often incurred the wrath of team director Andy Flower for his lack of sharpness in the field, but his hard work on the boundary led to the run-out that changed England’s day. Virender Sehwag had his eye on a third after working Anderson through midwicket, but Patel chased down the stroke and then flicked the ball up to Steven Finn, who hurled it to Matt Prior at the striker’s end with Sehwag stranded mid-pitch.
On his toes: Samit Patel's alert fielding led to a run-out
Gambhir changes his tune
When Gautam Gambhir was asked how disappointed Tendulkar would be to miss out on a hundred, he replied: ‘It’s not about hundreds or individuals. It’s about what the team does together.’ This hymn to team spirit raised eyebrows among those who recall him exposing the India tail on the fourth morning in Mumbai, where cynics wondered whether he was more concerned with carrying his bat than actually saving a game India went on to lose by 10 wickets.