Sachin Tendulkar’s incredible record at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) makes Mike Hussey nervous, but the Australian batsman and his teammates will do everything to prolong the Indian great’s agonizing wait for his 100th international century.
Tendulkar, stranded on 99 centuries in one-days and Tests since March last year, averaged a mammoth 221-plus at SCG and underlined his form with a fluent 73 in Melbourne last week.
“I can assure you that everyone in our dressing room does not want him to make a 100,” Hussey told reporters on Sunday. “I am a bit nervous because the stars seem to be aligning with Sachin needing one more 100. [It’s] the 100th Test match in Sydney, he’s made runs here before.”
“It’s a little bit ominous, but hopefully we can make him wait until after this series and he can get a 100 in the first game of the next series that he plays,” Hussey said.
Tendulkar’s teammate, Rohit Sharma, said the batting great was not putting himself under any pressure ahead of the second Test of the four-match series starting tomorrow.
“I’m sure he’s also not thinking of that. As we know, Sydney is his lucky ground so hopefully it happens here,” said Sharma, whose other wish would be to make his Test debut at SCG.
The last time the teams met at SCG was in 2008 when a row, involving Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh being accused of -racially abusing Andrew Symonds, soured relations between the sides.
“That was a long time ago and the personalities and teams have changed quite a lot, particularly in our team,” Hussey said. “That’s gone, that’s in the past. I think the players that were involved in all the controversies have moved on, even played together.”
Hussey predicted SCG to regain its spin-friendly reputation even though the ground favored pace bowlers in the previous two New Year Tests against Pakistan (2009) and England (2010).
“The last few years have been really seamer friendly and there have been overhead conditions to help that as well,” he said. “It looks definitely a lighter color and generally that’s the way it’s gone over here, it has slowed down a little bit and helped the spinners as the game’s gone on.”
Hussey’s words would be music to the ears of off-spinner Nathan Lyon, who would lose out to Australia’s returning fast bowler Ryan Harris should the team opt for a four-pronged pace attack.
Lyon did not help his cause with a lackluster display in Melbourne where despite the team’s 122-run victory, he claimed his lone wicket when he removed India’s No. 11 batsman Umesh Yadav with the last ball of the match.