Sachin Tendulkar, who is two weeks short of completing his two decades in international cricket, will be chasing the personal milestone of 17,000 ODI runs when he pads up in the fourth One-Day International against Australia in Mohali on Monday.
The batting maestro is 47 short of achieving the feat. The batting friendly track at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) Stadium here might turn out to be the lucky strip for Tendulkar, who has not been in best of form in the series so far, having scored 50 runs in the three matches.
It would be Tendulkar's second ODI outing here.
The PCA Stadium occupies a special place in Tendulkar's heart since it is the same venue where in October last year against Australia, he surpassed West Indian Brian Lara as the highest Test run scorer and also became the first cricketer to score 12,000 Test runs. Only a small crowd had turned up to witness that slice of history.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had also felicitated Tendulkar.
BCCI secretary N.Srinivasan said that no celebration has been planned this time around but for sure a sell-out crowd will be cheering for Tendulkar.
Tributes have started pouring in from teammates and opposition captain Ricky Ponting.
Yuvraj Singh called him the 'Grand Pa' of Indian cricket. “He has been playing for the last 20 years and it is interesting to see that the hunger is still there in him. Playing with him has been a great learning experience.”
Ponting said Tendulkar is an ideal role model for young cricketers.
“The way Sachin has carried himself for the last 20 years has been exceptional. He is an ideal role model for youngsters,” he said.