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‘Plenty of reasons to cherish this one’

Sachin's 42nd century couldn’t have come at a better time because India were staring at the prospect of a collapse. Atreyo Mukhopadhyay reports.
Hindustan Times | By Atreyo Mukhopadhyay, Sydney
UPDATED ON MAR 03, 2008 12:32 AM IST

The whispers were getting louder with Sachin Tendulkar being unable to get a big one in the series. The top-order was suffering and the situation was ripe for him to get going.

His 42nd century couldn’t have come at a better time because India were staring at the prospect of a collapse after a good start. A win chasing a modest total was of paramount importance and Tendulkar acknowledged that was most satisfying.

“I’m extremely pleased that this century has come at the right time. It was important on many counts. This was the final, Australia were the opponents, to play well in the second half after having done well in the first — there are many reasons to cherish this one. It was a special one indeed,” he said. Tendulkar revealed the going wasn’t as smooth as it might have looked from the outside. There was a pain in the groin which forced him to be judicious in choosing the singles and there were moments when he was cramping.

“It wasn’t allowing me to move freely. It’s been around for a while and needs painkillers at times,” said Tendulkar. “But you have to move on, and so I keep pushing myself as far as I can. If you score a hundred and the team wins, you forget all that. It’s still pretty warmed up at the moment and the true condition will be known afterwards. We don’t have much time to recover either. Let’s see how it goes.”

Beamer not an issue
Tendulkar said he was “100 per cent sure” the beamer from Brett Lee wasn’t intentional. “I know him very well and am sure he didn’t bowl it intentionally. I told him that my son is a big fan of his and that he will have to deal with the consequences when he comes to India for the IPL.”

Everybody smiled after that and it seemed the Indians were not making an issue out of it. There was praise for Rohit Sharma as well, who defied inexperience to make sure that his senior partner was in good company. “I have never batted with him for so long. He showed terrific character and also a tremendous range of shots. He has a great future, but I keep telling people like him to focus on the game and not think about anything else.”

Ishant’s finger problem
Ishant Sharma left the field after bowling eight overs because of an inflammation on his right middle finger. “We were fearing something serious, but it’s just a swelling caused by fluid formation which needs medication. “His condition would be assessed in Brisbane on the day of the match (Tuesday),” said team manager Dr B.R. Soni.

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