Tendulkar overcomes Adelaide barrier

Published: Thursday, January 24, 2008, 16:48 [IST]
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Tendulkar overcomes Adelaide barrier

Adelaide: Sachin Tendulkar finally achieved one of the few accomplishments that had eluded him during his glittering career when he scored a century at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday.

The venue has long been regarded as a batsman's paradise but the Indian master had failed to notch a hundred in his three previous visits to the picturesque ground.

However, he amended that anomaly with a brilliant 124 not out against the Australians on Thursday, helping his side recover from a shaky position to reach 309/5 at stumps on day one.

It was the 39th time Tendulkar had scored a Test hundred but the 34-year-old said this one was of special significance as it was on Don Bradman's home ground in possibly his last Test on Australian soil.

Although Bradman, who is regarded as the greatest batsmen of all time, was born and raised in New South Wales, he spent much of his playing career in Adelaide.

"I know that Adelaide hasn't been a great ground for me. In '99 I scored 65 runs, but otherwise it hasn't been great ground," he told a news conference.

"I was determined to get a big one here and it also happens to be Sir Don's home ground.

"When I was batting I was not thinking about that, I was just concentrating, but I am very glad to get a hundred here."

Tendulkar has been the form batsmen in this intriguing series, scoring an unbeaten hundred in the Sydney Test and half-centuries in Melbourne and Perth, but saved his best for last.

He started cautiously but brought up his fifty off 77 balls then reached triple figures off 133 deliveries, smashing part-time spinner Michael Clarke down the ground for a six then a four to pass the milestone.

"There is always a moment when you are batting if you hit the ball well, you know that confidence level shoots up," he said.

"I was just waiting for that opportunity and whenever I got that opportunity I made it count."

Although this series has largely been overshadowed by the ugly fallout to the Sydney Test, Tendulkar said he had been moved by the generous response from the local crowds.

All four Tests have been heavily attended with many Australians turning out to see Tendulkar for possibly the last time and giving him standing ovations every time he comes out to bat.

"It is truly special, very overwhelming. The ovations have been truly fantastic and has made my trip very, very special," he said.

Australian wrist spinner Brad Hogg said even the Australian players felt privileged to see Tendulkar playing at his best.

"Any innings when Sachin is batting is a joy to watch but you'd rather him be making the hundreds against someone else," Hogg said.

"It's just fantastic to be out there and to be playing against him.

"He's up there as the greatest player the world's ever seen. you can put him alongside Brian Lara, the Don.

"It's just a fantastic opportunity to play against someone of that calibre. He deserves that standing ovation when he comes out and hopefully he plays a few more years down the track because he's such a fantastic player to watch."

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