West Indies in India, 2011-12 November 19, 2011

Tendulkar plays down hype around 100th ton

ESPNcricinfo staff

Sachin Tendulkar has played down the hype surrounding his much-awaited 100th international century, saying it is "just a number". Tendulkar was unable to reach the landmark during the Test series in England and missed out in the first two Tests of the ongoing series against West Indies. He has another opportunity this series, at his home ground, the Wakhede Stadium, the venue for the third Test starting November 22.

"I feel it is just a number," Tendulkar told Mid-Day "I am not thinking about it. I am thinking about playing good cricket. I am enjoying my game.

"When I got my 90th international century, nobody said anything. Even before my 99th century, nobody said anything. So why now? I don't understand.

"I know everyone is talking and thinking about my 100th century. I want to be relaxed and let cricket decide its own course. I am not rushing into anything, just concentrating on my normal game."

Tendulkar reached his 99th century against South Africa during the World Cup earlier in the year. He's had three half-centuries since, and the closest he's got to scoring a century was when he made 91 at The Oval against England in the final Test of that tour. He recently completed 22 years in international cricket; he made his international debut on November 15, 1989, against Pakistan in Karachi.

"It's a wonderful feeling," he said. "It gives me immense pleasure and terrific satisfaction that I've been able to serve my country for such a long time."

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