One ton away from a century of international hundreds, batting genius Sachin Tendulkar on Sunday went to the famous Kali temple in south Kolkata's Kalighat to seek divine blessings on the eve of the second cricket Test here against the West Indies.
However, Tendulkar had to return disappointed, as a large number of fans surrounded his car and he could not alight near the temple. The security personnel panicked and drove him to the team hotel.
Tendulkar, who always makes it a point to offer puja at the famous temple whenever he comes to the city, headed for Kalighat straight from Eden Gardens after the team's practice session.
The news of Tendulkar's arrival spread like wildfire and a large number of cricket buffs gathered near the temple.
They virtually mobbed Tendulkar's car, frantically trying to catch a glimpse of their hero. Such was the frenzy that Tendulkar could not get down from the car and turned back.
Earlier at the Eden, Tendulkar had an intense 35 minute session with the bat at the nets, an ample indication of his determination to complete the historic feat which has been waiting to happen for over eight months. Tendulkar had struck his 99th international century on March 12 in an ODI at Nagpur against South Africa.
Normally, Tendulkar limits himself to some knockings and stays away from the nets on Test match eves.
He stroked fluently, with his characteristic confidence, as those who had gathered watched the little master in awe.
At the match eve media meet, Indian pacer Ishant Sharma was asked whether the team held any prayers for Tendulkar.
"I don't know actually," said the reticent Sharma. But then added: "May be."
But West Indies captain Darren Sammy struck a discordant note. "I have said it before, much as I admire Sachin, I would like him to score it (century of hundreds) against Australia."
Tendulkar has scored 51 hundreds in 182 Test matches and 48 tons in 453 ODIs.