The omens were in "perfect symmetry" for Sachin Tendulkar to hit his elusive 100th international ton at the Sydney Cricket Ground but that was not to be, bemoaned the Australian media after the Indian batting icon fell short of the feat once again.
In a write-up under the heading 'Amen to the omens', 'Daily Telegraph' pieced together interesting inferences of numbers in the second Test here to back Tendulkar finally scoring his 100th international ton.
"The short odds said that Sachin Tendulkar's century was inevitable. He was backed in from USD 4 to USD 3.75 with TAB Sportsbet, then again to USD 3.50, with 80 per cent of every dollar taken coming for Tendulkar to make the ton." the newspaper said.
"It had the perfect symmetry. Tendulkar was chasing his 100th international 100. The SCG was celebrating its 100th Test. He was playing at the ground he has long claimed was his favourite outside India, where he averaged 221 heading into this Test.
"... the pitch flattened out to become the ideal batting strip. The evidence was there by the hundreds ... Michael Clarke's 329 not out, Ricky Ponting's 134 to get his first century in almost two years and Mike Hussey's 150 not out, another career resurrection. There are moments like this in sport wherever you look. Where sometimes it just all comes together," it said.
According to the write-up, the Australians believe that Tendulkar is so proficient that he was most vulnerable to the ball he does not normally practice for and that's how he fell to Clarke.
"There is a belief among the Australians that Tendulkar, the greatest batsman since Bradman, is so proficient that he is most vulnerable to the ball you can't practice for. The kind of balls part-timers like Clarke throw down," it said.
"Here was a reminder that this was the sport that sent the great Bradman out with a duck. Like Sir Donald Bradman, Sachin Tendulkar leaves on low note."
Another newspaper hoped that Tendulkar conquers his personal Everest in the third Test at Perth, starting January 13.
"This was the perfect moment for Tendulkar to score the historic - or could it be mythical? - 100th hundred. For the purists, a famous milestone rapturously acclaimed during the SCG's 100th Test. For the ultra-parochial, if Tendulkar had to score a ton against Australia, better he do it chasing a massive deficit than while building a massive lead," 'Sydney Morning Herald' said.
"Enter Michael Clarke ... if his triple-century was not menacing enough, the ball that caught the edge of Tendulkar's bat talked tough - this is my Test match! Not only were Indian hearts broken when the ball ricocheted from Brad Haddin's gloves to Michael Hussey at first slip, so too was the tourists' resistance. For Australia, beating India so easily at the SCG was like breaking Pete Sampras's serve to love.
"Several hundred million Indians might be attending all-night vigils, unable to sleep or eat until their hero again reaches triple figures. Perhaps, in Perth, Tendulkar will finally conquer his personal Everest."