Mohali:For batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar, reaching the record for the most runs in Tests 11,953 - held by Brian Lara - has become something like attempting to get to the summit of the Mount Everest. His inching to the top is excruciatingly slow.
Tendulkar, who got out at 49 in second innings of the first Test match against Australia in Bangalore on Monday, missed out the opportunity to be the highest run-getter in Tests by 14 runs. His career Test record stands at 11,939 now.
The magnificent Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) stadium here is, perhaps, the ground where Tendulkar will finally reach the milestone and will surpass Lara's record tally by scoring one more run.
The second Test commences here on Friday and India and Australia will be playing here in a Test for the first time.
Though the ticket sales for the Test match have been lukewarm, PCA officials feel that these will pick up once the teams arrive on Tuesday. They are banking even more on Tendulkar achieving the record here to lure the spectators.
PCA officials are already making arrangements to celebrate Tendulkar's personal milestone. "We are looking forward to this great moment happening at the PCA stadium," PCA official G.S. Walia said.
Lara took 131 Test matches (232 innings) to score 11,953 runs. These included the world-record 400 not out against England - the highest individual score by any batsman in the world.
Tendulkar has already played 151 Test matches and batted in 246 innings for his 11,939 runs.
Though Tendulkar does not have any record as such at the PCA stadium in his 19-year cricketing career, his best here is 126 not out against New Zealand in 1999.
After India were bundled out for a mere 83 runs in the first innings by the Kiwis, Tendulkar's unbeaten century saw India declare the second innings at 505 for three wickets and draw the Test.
Tendulkar has scored one century and three 50s in the seven Tests he played here since 1994 for an aggregate of 459 runs in 10 innings.
The Mumbai batsman comes here with an impressive record of 39 Test centuries, the highest number by any player, and 49 fifties. He has been dismissed seven times in his Test career in the nervous 90s.