'Surreal when we get Tendulkar out' - Powell
With Sachin Tendulkar set to play his final Test next month against West Indies, possibly at his home ground at Wankhede Stadium, opposition batsmen Kieran Powell and Kirk Edwards believe their side will not be spared from the emotions surrounding the series.
"It will be a surreal moment when we get him out for that one last time," Powell told the Indian Express. "It's been a lifetime of Sachin for most of us and his final dismissal will signal the beginning of a new era for our sport.
"Even the 199th will be an incredible setting, and I expect the energy to be electric. But we all know that once the flight takes off from there and we head for the last Test, India will come to a standstill for the next eight days, and all you will hear about and see is one Sachin Tendulkar."
Edwards remembered the first time he was involved in a match against Tendulkar, which was also at Wankhede in 2011, when team-mate Ravi Rampaul dismissed him six runs short of his landmark 100th century. Edwards himself had scored a stroke-filled half-century, which had him singled out for special praise.
"Sachin walked up to me and said that he enjoyed my innings and he liked the way I batted," Edwards said. "It was an incredible moment and I was speechless. He was always a true inspiration for me but that day he showed me what true humility is."
Powell's memory of that Test is also sharp: "Ravi [Rampaul] was the most hated man in India that day, especially in Mumbai. And he told us about being worried to go and field near the boundary rope to face those thousands who had come to see Tendulkar's 100th century. The kind of noise and the roars I heard that morning will remain etched in my memory. But once he got out, I will never forget how the crowd emptied in that one instant. There were many who were screaming to let him back just for those six runs. I expect it to be crazier this time"