The enormous interest in Sachin Tendulkar's eagerly awaited 100th hundred will not take India's focus from their three-Test series against the West Indies starting today, the captain MS Dhoni said.
Tendulkar's bid for an unprecedented century of centuries has been the talking point since he cracked his 99th hundred against South Africa at the World Cup in March. "What we try to do is to be there in the present, and not too much in the future," Dhoni said yesterday. "It's important to prepare ourselves as individuals.
"Of course, it is a milestone Sachin will achieve in this game or some other game. Let him get the ton and then we will talk about it. We are thinking about how we are preparing for this series. When he gets it, we will celebrate with him. Hopefully, he gets it here and then we will speak about it."
Tendulkar already holds four batting world records - most runs in Tests (14,965) and one-day internationals (18,111) and most hundreds in Tests (51) and one-dayers (48). The West Indies won their first away Test series since 2003 when they beat Bangladesh in the second and final match in Dhaka on Wednesday.
"This is the biggest series for most of the guys here," said Darren Sammy, the West Indies captain. "Playing cricket in India is indescribable. The way cricket is held here, it's like religion. This by far is the biggest test for us, for me as the captain, as well."
Elsewhere, New Zealand beat Zimbabwe by 34 runs yesterday despite a century by Brendan Taylor on a riveting final day of the one-off Test.
Taylor took Zimbabwe to 265 for three at the tea break, needing 101 runs to pull off an unlikely victory at Queens Sports Club, but he fell to the second ball of the final session.
The hosts still pressed for victory but collapsed to 331 all out with less than six overs of the match remaining.