Mumbai: What's common between Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman apart from the fact that they are all legendary batsmen? All have yet to score a Test hundred at Lord's.
Everyone will be holding their breath when the Indian trio set foot on the Mecca of cricket in the first Test against England on July 21. The game is the 2000th Test match in the history of the game and the 100th England vs India Test. As for Tendulkar, a hundred here would take his international centuries' tally to 100.
However, former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar, the only Indian to score three Test tons at Lord's, wants Tendulkar & Co to avoid getting weighed down by the fact that they have no Lord's Test ton to show in their celebrated record sheet.
"Don't think about the occasion. Approach the match as if it's been played at just another venue. That will help to play your innings in a better way," was Vengsarkar's advice to the trio. "I am sure they will score hundreds at Lord's because they are in good form. They are great players," Vengsarkar told MiD DAY on the sidelines of a book launch ('Memon's Midas Moments') of former Wankhede Stadium curator, Nadim Memon on the occasion of his 50th birthday at the Cricket Club of India on Tuesday.
"Even if they fail, it is fine. It happens in cricket. The important thing is that they should not put themselves under pressure (of scoring a ton at Lord's). It is crucial that they score well to start the series on a winning note," Vengsarkar added.
Vengsarkar's first century at the historic ground came in 1979 ? 103 against the likes of Ian Botham and Mike Hendrick after a duck in the first innings. In 1982, Vengsarkar notched up 157. On India's next tour to England in 1986, he scored a magnificent 126 not out to give the visitors a crucial lead of 47 runs in the first innings and lay the foundation for a five-wicket win. Vengsarkar scored a half-century in his last Lord's Test in 1990.
"Every cricketer wants to give his best at Lord's. It's historically important and the atmosphere make it a very special experience. I thoroughly enjoyed playing there," said Vengsarkar. The 1986 Test is India's solitary Test win at Lord's.
Tendulkar, who will play his fifth Test at Lord's, has scored only 149 runs in four Tests with a highest score of 37 in 2007 while Dravid has scored two half-centuries in three Tests. He also came close to scoring a ton (95) on his first tour in 1996. Laxman, who has notched a half-century in each of his two Tests at Lord's, has scored 171 runs.