Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar has said that the possibility of scoring his 100th international hundred which will be his first Test century at Lord's in five visits is not occupying his mind. However, his aim to score big in every game is a constant objective.
Not only is a Test century missing from his record at Lord's; he hasn't even scored a half century - his best being a 37 - in the first innings of his last Test here in 2007.
More than just Thursday's battle being the 100th Test between India and England and the 2000th Test overall, Tendulkar's barren century column here and the possibility of him getting his 100th international century during the July 21-25 period is dominating all cricket talk in bars, buses, cafes and cabs.
How does one cope with all the hype and anticipation, MiD DAY asked Tendulkar as he got set to cross the hallowed turf en route to the dressing room. "I am not thinking about it (100th ton). I go into every match with the same thinking - to get a big score," he said.
Tendulkar has proved that he is a master when it comes to the pressure game. He has felt and dealt with all - be it against erstwhile kings Australia or getting it splendidly right against Pakistan. "I will do what I normally do and will not put myself under any pressure," Tendulkar added.
Tendulkar has scored 51 Test hundreds and 48 one-day international tons - more than anyone in the game. The Englishmen (except Andrew Strauss' team of course) want a fairytale ring to Tendulkar's last Test tour to England. He played his first Test here in 1990 with no Test or hundred to his name. Now, there is a chance of getting Hundred No 100 at what many cricket lovers believe is still the home of cricket.
He got his first Test hundred on the 1990 tour of England at Manchester and there is every chance his 100th international century comes here. For die-hard cricket fans here, that will probably be better than their favourite tea with scones and Devonshire cream!