Want to be part of Sachin's success: MSD
Sydney, Jan 2: As India get set to take on Australia in the second Test of the Border-Gavaskar series, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni denies Sachin Tendulkar’s impending hundredth 100 is a distraction for the team. "For us it's good, it's a big distraction for the media," Dhoni was quoted as saying.
Cricket followers the world over have been waiting for the batting legend to reach the landmark for the past eight months. The veteran batsman’s last century came during the ICC World Cup back in April. Tendulkar had come close to reaching the milestone at the Wankhede Test against the touring West Indies side where he fell short by just six runs. He appeared to be in sublime form as he negotiated the Australian pacers in the Boxing Day Test but was bowled for 73 by Peter Siddle in the first innings.
"Wherever we go people talk about it but definitely as a team we would like him to score it as soon as possible for no other reason than [it being] a big milestone that we'd love to enjoy; [we’d love to] be part of his success," he said.
Asked whether Tendulkar and the team had discussed the imminent achievement in the lead up to the second Test starting on January 3, Dhoni replied, "For Sachin it's not the first time where he's close to a milestone and we have seen circumstances where he could have easily achieved the 100th hundred; but it's not going his way.
"We all know it will happen, it may happen in this Test match, it may happen in the next Test match or in this series," he said.
"It's something that we can't really stop from happening but I don't think he personally thinks about it a lot. Of course, the quicker he achieves it that will ease off a bit of the so-called pressure that's on him.
"There's pressure of failure and there's pressure of performance and maybe what he's going through is pressure of performance; but he doesn't really talk about it and it never feels like he's under any sort of pressure when it comes to scoring the 100th hundred," Dhoni observed.
Although the Indian skipper admitted that India's fifth consecutive loss on foreign soil has been disappointing, he is confident that they will pick themselves up in time for the SCG Test.
"What we have seen is that we have always bounced back and the Australian team will have to keep the pressure on our batting line-up and the bowlers also,” the wicketkeeper-batsman said.
"It's just that we have not performed in the first Test and we look to improve in the second Test," he added.
"It's not something to get bogged down [with] because we all know the reasons as to what exactly happened and you learn a lot from the mistakes that you make.
"In the last five Test matches abroad that we've lost, we've still had plenty of positives out of those particular games. So we're looking at the positives and also looking to improve the weaknesses that we have."
Asked if he would consider bowling first on a greenish SCG track, Dhoni replied, "It depends on exactly how the wicket looks before the start of the game [...] When it's really hot in Australia the groundsmen look to water the wicket the day before, so it depends on how much moisture is on the wicket at the start of the game and how hot it is and whether it's cloudy or not.
"It looks like a good wicket. Initially there may be something for the fast bowlers but after that it'll get better to bat on."