Beginning of an end!

Sachin Tendulkar is all set for an epic farewell Test starting today at Wankhede

Mumbai: In the year 2011, Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium basked into glory as team India led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni lifted the World Cup. Today the venue will witness yet another historic event, as the ‘God of cricket’, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, is all set to play his 200th and farewell Test against West Indies.

Beginning of an end!

With the amount of euphoria build around Sachin’s farewell for almost a week, the excitement about the battle between the two sporty teams seem to have taken a backseat.  So much so that it has completely overshadowed West Indies player Shivnarayan Chanderpaul’s 150th Test appearance also.

Chanderpaul holds a brilliant track record against India, scoring 2,105 runs from 24 matches at an average of 65.78.  For the very first time Tendulkar’s mother Rajni besides coach Ramakant Achrekar will be present in the stadium to watch the Master Blaster play for the very last time.

And this puts added responsibility to perform well for Sachin, who has not so good batting past at Wankhede, missing on few close tons after decent build-ups.

The batting legend in 10 Tests here, has got 847 runs, highest being 148 (against Sri Lanka in 1996-97), at an average of 47.05. Tendulkar’s highest this year has been 81 in the first innings in India’s eight-wicket win over Australia in Chennai earlier this year. The master blaster is 153 runs short of getting 16,000 Test runs and a 52nd century would be the perfect end to his illustrious innings.

With whitewash on top of his mind, Dhoni would like to retain the winning combination who inflicted an innings and 51 runs defeat upon the visitors at Kolkata.

Dhoni would expect inform Mumbai lad Rohit Sharma to fire, further consolidating his position in the Test side. Focus will also be on the Mohammed Shami who had nine-wicket haul in his debut Test at Kolkata.

For Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay this will be an opportunity to give their best performance before embarking upon tour to South Africa next month.

For the West Indies, it is more like a participation in Sachin’s farewell. If at all they would like to think about anything early today morning, it would be just one thing – who would take the pricey wicket of Tendulkar.

While millions of Sachin fans will be hoping the master score a ton, breaking the 15-year-old jinx on his home ground and scoring his second only Test hundred.

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