Graeme Swann, England's premier spinner who recently took the top-spot in the International Cricket Council's rankings for ODI bowlers, feels that Sachin Tendulkar will have to wait for another six to seven months to complete his 100th international century.
While scores of fans wait with baited breadth for Tendulkar to reach the historic milestone in the 2000th Test at the Lord's beginning from July 21, Swann feels the English bowlers will not let the master-blaster have it easy in the series.Â (Also read how Swann thanks Fletcher for ignoring him, thus helping his resolve to bowl better)
He also said it would be too risky to focus only on Sachin in the upcoming Test series as India have other key batsmen in their side.
"It's very risky to focus on Sachin alone. He is the best of the modern generation and the record speaks for itself. But just focusing on him can create the risk of someone sneaking from the back door and take the game away from us," Swann said.
Swann, however, had some great words for the batting maestro. "I saw him get a hundred on TV before Sky Sports even started - that was how long ago! He's a phenomenal talent to still be going now and on the verge of a 100th hundred in international games."
Former as well as current players have already speculated greatly on the batsman. Brian Lara was the latest to call Tendulkar the greatest batsman ever while former English skippers like Michael Atherton and Nasser Hussain hailed his ability to change his batting with time.
Mind games though, are being played the other way as well. Michael Vaughan appreciated Tendulkar's ability recently but said that he was human and was bound to make mistakes if the English bowlers stuck to the basics. In fact, pacer James Anderson was quoted as saying that the quest for Sachin's 100th international century can distract India and hurt the side.
England, apart from the spin of Swann, have the comfort of choosing from a reputed pace line-up which has Anderson, Chris Tremlett, Tim Bresnan and Stuart Broad in the fray.
The 32-year-old bowler also praised the India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and called him the most charismatic cricketer in the team.
"MS Dhoni is probably the most charismatic cricketer they ever had. You have to be in India to realise the sway he holds in that country. He is more important than any other player. He leads from the front and is a very dangerous cricketer. He's the key man," Swann, rated by many as one of the best off-spinners in the world, said.
Swann, who has taken 140 wickets from 32 Tests with 10 five-wicket hauls at an average of 27.72, revealed that English team has done a thorough analysis of India's top batsmen and would be well prepared for the Test series, starting July 21 here.
"We have an army of support staff who compile all data on batsmen, where to bowl, how to bowl. I hope our plan A and plan B works and we don't have to resort to plan C or D." Stating that India would be missing opener Virender Sehwag at the top of the order, Swann said, "Whenever a team loses a player of his quality, it's a huge loss. You start to rely on guys who are that good. Sehwag has been phenomenal, it's like if we miss on Jonathan Trott, it's a huge hole to fill."
He believed that the series would be won by the team which could take 20 wickets in a match and said his side can do it.
"It's about a team which can take 20 wickets and I'm very comfortable with the team we've got. We always expect to win, if you don't do so you shoot yourself in the foot. Looking at two line-ups, I feel very comfortable," Swann said.
Insisting that he does not mind that England attack is going to be centered around swing bowlers, Swann explained, "We should have that kind of attack. Seamers should have the advantage. We have the best bowling attack in the world."
(With PTI inputs)