It has now been 14 innings since Sachin Tendulkar scored his last century. His quest for his 100th ton eluded him again on Monday, as his innings was cut-short by a spinner - Devendra Bishoo, who was only 5 whenÂ the Little Master scored his maiden international century, in 1990.
In his sterling career, Tendulkar has scored a century at an average every 7.5 innings. Bishoo deprived him of a ton in the 12th and the 14th innings since his last international ton, scored in the World Cup earlier this year against South Africa at Nagpur.
In the first innings of the first Test against West Indies at Delhi's Kotla, Sachin scored only seven runs before falling leg before to Bishoo. A promising Tendulkar innings was cut short at 74 by Fidel Edwards in the second innings and even as India celebrated the end of victory drought, they waited for the second Test. And Sachin's 100th ton.
He walked out early on Day one at Kolkata's Eden Gardens because Fidel Edwards got the better of a well-set Gautam Gambhir who scored 65.
The West Indies pacers went all out gunning for the prized wicket; the batsman himself looked at ease as he negotiated the sluggish track with trademark confidence. Only to the rare eye in the nearly empty stand at the Eden Gardens, would a half century have looked far.Â After all, Tendulkar had smacked five boundaries off them. More seemed to be coming.
Just when the 3rd wicket partnership of 57 runs with Rahul Dravid looked like it would lead to a milestone, Devendra Bishoo challenged Tendulkar with a short ball only for the veteran batsman to give in to the temptation. Marlon Samuels at mid-wicket completed what was a regulation catch, bringing another end to hopes of that mega milestone from Tendulkar, at least in the first innings.