London: India great Sachin Tendulkar is unlikely to score his 100th international hundred in the first Test against England here at Lord's after spending Sunday's first two sessions off the field with a virus.
The length of his absence means Tendulkar, out for 34 in India's first innings on Saturday, won't be able to bat before the lunch break or any higher than No 7, the fall of the fifth wicket, during the tourists' second innings.
And that could scupper Tendulkar's hopes both of scoring his 100th international hundred in this match; his 51 in Tests and 48 in one-dayers are both records and his first Test century at Lord's where his top score in eight knocks to date is a modest 37.
Under the playing conditions for this series, Law 2.1.2, which deals with substituted players, states: "The player shall not be permitted to bat unless or until, in the aggregate, he has returned to the field and/or his side's innings has been in progress for at least that length of playing time for which he has been absent or, if earlier, when his side have lost five wickets."
Tendulkar returned for the start of Sunday's final session, having been off the field for more than four-and-a-quarter hours.
England were 174 for six in their second innings, a lead of 362 runs, with Matt Prior 55 not out and Stuart Broad 36 not out.
Tendulkar, 38, played some trademark classic shots before he was caught at second slip by Graeme Swann off seam bowler Broad on Saturday.
Given his age, the second innings of this match could represent Tendulkar's last chance to score a Test hundred at Lord's - a feat that has so far also proved beyond fellow contemporary batting greats Ricky Ponting of Australia and retired West Indies star Brian Lara.